Yoon Kwon, Violin
Described by Dorothy DeLay as a violinist with “staggering imagination” and “one of the most expressive tones I’ve ever heard”, violinist Yoon Kwon’s compelling musicianship and dynamic stage presence have won the hearts of audiences around the world. Her performances have earned her critical acclaim across four continents, garnering remarks such as “magic that transcends mere pyrotechnical flash”, “infinitely beautiful sound… holding an audience spellbound”, and “utterly assured and carefree…a talent that kept us enchanted throughout”.
Yoon Kwon began her professional career in 1993 as a thirteen-year-old, youngest winner in the history of the New Jersey Symphony Young Artists Auditions joining the roster of IMG Artists, alongside such artists as Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. She has since concertized extensively as soloist with major orchestras and in recitals and chamber music appearances with distinguished musicians. Today, still only in her mid-twenties, Yoon Kwon is a seasoned artist with a remarkable and excitingly versatile career. In addition to her solo appearances, she is currently the youngest first violinist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a member of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, and the lead violinist of her own jazz ensemble, Emergence, appearing regularly in New York City’s jazz clubs.
As soloist, Ms. Kwon has appeared abroad with such orchestras as the Cologne Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, (it’s 100th season opening gala) Orquesta Sinfonica de Teatro Colon (Argentina), Euro-Asian Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Istanbul State Symphony, and the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Her numerous US appearances include performances with the symphonies of Cincinnati, Chicago, Colorado, Greenville, Houston, Honolulu, Phoenix, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, St. Louis, and Wichita, and others. Among the conductors she has collaborated with are James Conlon, Lawrence Foster, Sergiu Commissiona, Paavo Jarvi, Haermann Michael, Stefan Sandering, Alan Gilbert, Tandeuz Strugala, Gurer Aykal, David Lockington, Andre Raphael Smith, and Enrique Batiz. Her recital credits are also numerous: Ravinia Rising Stars Series, St. Louis Great Artist Series, La Jolla Discovery Series, and Aspen Winter Series. During the 1998-2003 seasons, under the auspices of Columbia Artists Community Concerts, Yoon and her sister, pianist Min Kwon, undertook extensive tours of joint recitals and master classes across the US. Yoon Kwon is also a frequent performer at summer festivals, including Marlboro, Aspen, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Tanglewood, Vancouver, Rome and Cassamagiore (Italy), Kuhmo (Finland), and Interlaken, Verbier (Switzerland), collaborating with such distinguished musicians as Andras Schiff, Pinchas Zukerman, Richard Stolzman, Midori, Felix Galimir, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Daniel Blumenthal, Carter Brey, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Emerson string quartets.
Yoon Kwon released her debut CD on the BMG/RCA Red Seal label in Korea in 1997 to critical acclaim, becoming the first Korean artist to record for the label. She has also recorded You and Me, an album of solo and duo works with pianist Min Kwon, Anthony Newman’s Sonata for Violin and Piano with the composer at the piano. She can be also heard on a jazz album entitled Phoenix on the Songlines label. Yoon Kwon’s captivating and passionate performances have been seen and heard by television and radio audiences worldwide. Ms Kwon has been a feature performer on CBS TV’s New Year’s Eve Peace Concert hosted by Maya Angelou, and broadcast from New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She has also been featured on NBC TV (USA), TV Stuttgart and WDR (Germany), KBS and SBS TV (Korea), and numerous FM stations across the US.
A native of Seoul, Korea, Yoon Kwon began her musical studies at the age of three, studying the piano. At the age of six, she began studying the violin, and two years later was accepted into the Juilliard School, where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay. In 1997, at the age of the 17, she was the youngest winner in the history of The Juilliard School Concerto Competition, resulting in her Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center debut later that year. Ms. Kwon received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as well as the prestigious Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School where she studied with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Cho-Liang Lin, and Donald Weilerstein. She was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Stradivarius on loan from The Juilliard School and Sennhouser Guarnerius del Gesu on loan from the Stradivari Society. She also enjoys teaching, and has taught at Columbia University’s Young Musicians Program, Kuhmo International Music Course in Finland, and as assistant to Cho-Liang Lin, at The Juilliard School.