Yeol Eum SON 손열음, Pianist


Pianist Yeol Eum Son, having started to rack up awards by winning the second prize at the 14th Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011 followed by the best performer award of Mozart Concerto and the best performer award of the work entrusted for Concurs, is earning international reputation based on her excellent insight, limitless technique, and a wide variety of repertoires.

She was born on May 2, 1986, and winning the second place as the youngest performer at Young Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1997, she made a debut at the music world as she was selected as the first player at Kumho Young Artist Concert started by Kumho Cultural Foundation (Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation at present) in July 1998 for hunting young talents and supporting program. Thereinafter, she won at Oberlin International Competition in 1999, Ettlingen International Competition in 2000, and Vercelli Viotti International Competition in 2002 as the youngest winner, and was at the center of attention of music fans in and out of Korea as she won the third place at Rubinstein International Piano Competition held in Tel Aviv in 2005. Especially, in 2009, she rose to be in the limelight in earnest by sweeping the second place and the best chamber music performance award at Van Cilburn International Piano Competition.


She collaborated on stage with world’s top class orchestras such as New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Deutsch Radio Philharmonic, NDR Radio Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Svetlanov Symphony (the old USSR State Symphony), Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, Mariinskii Theater Orchestra, etc. under the conduction of Valery Gergiev, Lorin Mazzel, Lawrence Foster, Dmitry Kitaenko, Yuri Bashmet, James Conlon, Karel Mark Chichon, Neville Marriner and Chung Myung Hun, etc., and she was invited to perform at Germany Rheingau Festival, Bad Kissingen Festival, France Besancon Festival, Poland Beethoven Easter Festival, Sweden Baltic Sea Festival, Slovenia Ljubljana Festival, US Portland Piano International, etc.

In addition, she collaborated with all the major symphony orchestras in Korea such as Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra and Bucheon, Suwon, Daejeon, Busan, Ulsan, Kwangju and Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, etc., and has been actively engaged in the performances as the cultural envoy of the Republic of Korea such as performance celebrating the inauguration of Ban Ki Moon UN Secretary General that was held at UN General Assembly in New York in 2007, performance at Austria Presidential Palace Music Concert that commemorated 120th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between Korea and Austria in 2012, and performance at the dinner commemorating 60th anniversary of Korea-USA alliance by joining the schedule of Korean president Park Geun Hye’s visiting the US in 2013. She won the prize of the first ‘Kumho Musician Award,’ ‘Nanpa Music Award,’ and ‘Today’s Young Artist Award’ of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and was selected as the ‘100 people who will shine up Korea’ by DongA Ilbo for three consecutive years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame to establish herself as the representative pianist of the Republic of Korea true to the name.

‘Complete Etudes of Chopin’ that she released as her debut album in October, 2004 and the album ‘Nocturne for the piano and string of Chopin’ released in December 2008 are released as Universal Label, and the live sound sources played at ‘Van Cliburn Competition’ in 2009 were released at Harmonia Mundi Label next year. In July 2012, ‘Piano’ album released at Onyuwol Music, the independent music label in Korea, was produced as the multichannel SACD first for Korean technology. Moreover, in 2016, ‘Modern Times’ music album with modern music contained therein was released as DECCA label.

She also worked as the youngest regular columnist of Joongang Sunday, the weekend edition of Joongang Daily, and has also released <Music letter from Hannover>, her first essay collection, in May 2015, gathering the columns she has contributed for the last 5 years. She is also playing an active part as the public relations ambassador of the Seoul Arts Center, the concert hall representing Korea, and her hometown Wonju city, Gangwon-do. In 2016, she was entrusted as the artistic subdirector of Pyeongchang Music Festival and School to plan classic music festival that represents the Republic of Korea with artistic directors Chung Myung Hwa and Chung Kyung Hwa. She studied with Professor Kim Dae Jin at the Korea National University of Arts, and now, she is studying under Professor Arie Vardi at Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik Hannover.


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