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18 Apr 2019

Q&A with Esther Yoo

ORCHESTRA

18 Apr

2019


What do you enjoy the most about performing with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra?

I love the strong musical and personal connection we have built over the past years of performing together and also recording my first two albums together. I also really enjoy the fact that we’re always exploring new ideas and approaches even when we’re revisiting pieces we have already performed together. Playing with musicians who feel like family takes music making to an extra special level.

Glazunov’s Violin Concerto is not the most well know violin concerto. What drew you to perform and record this work?

This concerto was actually recommended to me by the late Maestro Lorin Maazel who was a very important mentor to me and whom I made my London concerto debut with many years back, together with the Philharmonia Orchestra. I quickly fell in love with this unique concerto, which is short in length but bursting to the brim with life, brilliance and lyricism. It’s a piece that continues to evolve with me and I appreciate the precious memories it brings back of working with Maestro Maazel.


I can see that you’re an official Champion of the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. Tell us a bit about why you became involved with this charity?

Mental health has always been a priority for me and I was inspired by the important work that Nordoff Robbins does of helping and healing people with music. Music and the process of creating art has helped me through many difficult times in my life and I strongly advocate all that NR are doing with music therapy, raising awareness and making music accessible to those who need it most.

Which of our forthcoming concerts would you recommend?

On 15 March 2020, Esa-Pekka Salonen is recreating the concert that Beethoven gave in Vienna in December 1808, involving four hours of music – this sounds amazing! Then of course I have to recommend my own concert on 14 May 2020, when I’ll be playing the Barber Violin Concerto as part of an all-American programme, with Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

But there are many more that look exciting too – I’d love to hear Sol Gabetta playing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Elim Chan conducting on 24 October, Vladimir Ashkenazy returning with Dvoƙák’s New World Symphony on 28 November, and Lahav Shani conducting Romeo and Juliet on 13 February.

Then, from the Philharmonia’s free Music of Today series, the 19 March concert of music by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Helena Tulve caught my eye.