"...with compelling emotion that led to ecstasy, she took the audience’s breath away." -Peter Ullrich, Nordkurier (Germany)
"A true artist of high integrity, a many-sided, sophisticated and erudite musician." -Matti Raekallio, Professor of Juilliard School
"A staggeringly good performance" -Alexandra Coghlan, The Critics (about a performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire)
Yoonjee (Yoon-Jee Kim) is a conductor and pianist akin to a Renaissance artist—her supreme intelligence combined with her wide-ranging abilities enable her to be an equally consummate performer in the fields of orchestral and opera conducting, solo piano and chamber music. As a conductor, she is the recent laureate of the 1st Makris International Conducting Competition, where she won the Best Concerto Accompaniment Award as well as Honorable Mention. She is also the music director of Solius Orchestra, a group she founded in 2017 in Korea.
As a pianist recognized for her “vibrant sound palette” and “sense of architecture,” Yoonjee is a prizewinner of international piano competitions in Germany, Italy, Spain and the USA. Having been part of the Perlman Music Program, Yoonjee is also a phenomenal collaborator who has performed chamber music with violinist Itzhak Perlman in venues such as the Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center. She is currently a member of an award-winning piano duo Yoo + Kim.
Originally from Seoul, Yoonjee grew up in Tokyo, Moscow and New York and trained at the Pre-College division of the Juilliard School as a full-scholarship recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, where she oversaw and conducted a full production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Opera Theatre of Yale College. She thereafter received postgraduate degrees in both piano and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Hannover in Germany and the Master of Music degree in conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK. Her conducting teachers include Jonathan Brett, Clark Rundell, Mark Heron and Paul Weigold; she has also attended masterclasses by Paavo & Neeme Järvi, Juanjo Mena, Vasily Petrenko, Mark Stringer and Paul McCreesh.
While studying in Manchester, she conducted a performance with the Manchester Camerata, assisted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for its production of Puccini’s Tosca and a performance of Haydn's Creation and performed Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at London’s Southbank Centre in 2013 as part of Rest is Noise Festival. She has subsequently been invited as a guest conductor to such orchestras as Gwangju Symphony Orchestra and Daejoun Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yoonjee is currently based in Hannover, Germany. She is both a piano faculty member and a staff pianist for the Voice Department at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover and teaches score reading (Partiturspiel) at Musikhochschule Lübeck. Her interest in languages and literature makes her an avid reader, a polyglot and a certified translator.
Photo credit: Wanki Lee