ESTHER YOO • biography
In an era when technical perfection is a given, the spotlight inevitably shifts to interpretation, and Esther Yoo’s playing has been described as ”mesmerising”, “soulful“, “spellbinding“, “intensely lyrical”, and “taking her audience into an enchanted garden.” She performs with many leading conductors – including Vladimir Ashkenazy (with whom she and the Philharmonia Orchestra recorded the Sibelius, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky concertos for Deutsche Grammophon), Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thierry Fischer, Vasily Petrenko, Karina Canellakis and Andrew Davis – and orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie or the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She has also performed at a range of prominent festivals including the BBC Proms and Aspen Music Festival.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra appointed her as their inaugural Artist-in-Residence in 2018, through which Esther participated extensively in educational and outreach projects, alongside their concert performances in London and across the UK.
Esther has appeared in recital at Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall, and in 2018 she featured prominently on the soundtrack and accompanying Decca disc of the feature film, On Chesil Beach. The piano trio, Z.E.N., (which she co-founded together with fellow former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Zhang Zuo and Narek Hakhnazaryan), tours widely in North America, Europe and Asia. They chose works by Brahms and Dvorak for their first recording and are currently preparing their second recording which, like the first, will be released on DG.
Esther may be unique among classical soloists in being fully tri-cultural. She was born and spent her earliest years in the U.S., before receiving her education in Belgium and Germany, but she always retained her family’s proud Korean heritage. Having authentic roots in three continents may have contributed to her versatility and exceptionally broad range of expression, and was unquestionably a factor in making her one of the most articulate and gifted communicators in the field of classical music.
She began playing the violin at 4 and made her concerto debut aged 8. At 16 she became the youngest prizewinner of the International Sibelius Violin Competition and two years later she was one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2012. In 2014 she became a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and in 2018 Classic FM featured her in their Top 30 Artists under 30.
MARCO PARISOTTO • biography
Born in Montreal of Italian lineage, Marco Parisotto is among Canada's foremost conductors on the international scene. A guest with orchestras around the globe, with unrelentingly high standards of performance, he continues to thrill audiences with his passionate musicmaking. He is the winner of seven major international competitions and crowned these achievements at the1997 “Besançon International Competition for Conductors”, being awarded both the Grand Prix as well as the Prix du Public - a historical first at this elite event.
As Artistic Director of the Ontario Philharmonic (OP), a title he has held for over two decades, he has earned praise for the orchestra’s development and adventurous performances, and he is credited with building OP to the high standard it enjoys today. Under his leadership, Ontario Philharmonic has received superlative audience and media recognition.
“…a fantastic orchestra [Ontario Philharmonic] being led by a first-rate conductor” • Musical Toronto.
Marco Parisotto’s close association with orchestras is manifested through the strong relationships he has maintained with ensembles under his leadership. In 2013,he was unanimously elected as Music Director of the Jalisco Philharmonic, transforming this ensemble into one of Latin America’s most distinguished orchestras. Under his direction, the Jalisco Philharmonic garnered international attention with its virtuosic performances and participated in recordings, tours, international festivals and major events such as Operalia, The World Opera Competition. During his tenure, the orchestra undertook major concert tours eliciting great critical and public acclaim as they visited Germany, Austria, the USA and Mexico in leading concert halls of Berlin, Munich, Essen, Vienna, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Busan and Mexico City. As well, through Maestro Parisotto, the orchestra completed significant commercial recording projects, starting with the Philharmonic’s first release under the SONY Classical label.
“Amidst this exciting pillar of sound growing constantly, stands Marco Parisotto. Under his control, directing the orchestra with the greatest finesse, like an architect he gives precise instructions that develop into a majestic edifice of sound… He ingeniously manages the full spectrum of colors of his orchestra… We hope that this fantastic orchestra with this dynamic conductor will visit our German concert halls more frequently, bringing with them their style of spicy and fiery music-making.” •Klassik Begeistert, Raphael Eckardt
Following a special concert celebrating Canada-China relations in 1999 at the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, Marco Parisotto was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 2003.
Marco Parisotto has won critical and public praise for his interpretations of the great Austro-German repertoire - as R. Strauss, Bruckner, Wagner, and as an avid Mahlerian. He has also been acclaimed for his readings of Russian masters as Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and for his passionate performances in the operatic field. He has led productions including, among others, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Otello, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La Boheme, Aida, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni and Turandot.
“The star of the evening was without a doubt Marco Parisotto…inspired, passionate and in a virtual state of grace, impressing a supreme flow and agility to this extremely challenging opera [Puccini’s Turandot].” •Opera World.
Marco Parisotto has appeared in major concert halls throughout the world, conducting many leading orchestras including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "La Verdi", Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano, New Jersey Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Busan Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Erfurt Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Georges Enescu Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Opéra de Bordeaux, Opéra de Marseille, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Philharmonique de Liège. He was received with great enthusiasm at the international Festivals of Evian, Menton, Besançon, Festival Cervantino, Wieniawski International Festival (Poland), May Festival of Guadalajara, Festival of Opera in Jalisco, Skaneateles Festival New York, Busan Maru International Music Festival and Bolzano Festival; at the Montreal Opera, Shanghai Opera, Opera Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, Serbian National Theatre; in Mexico with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes, Orquesta Sinfonica de UANL, Camerata de Coahuila, Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, Camara de Bellas Artes, Orquesta de Baja California; in China with the Shanghai Symphony, China National Symphony and Gui Yang Symphony. He has also led to acclaim the Polish National Radio Symphony, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI of Torino, Orquesta de Cordoba, Orchestre de Bayonne Côte-Basque. On several occasions, at Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, he was a guest of Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux.
Marco Parisotto is the winner of seven important international competitions. Aside from his noteworthy awards at the prestigious Besançon Competition, joining the ranks of maestros like Seiji Ozawa and Michel Plasson, other top prizes have included the Tokyo International Conductors' Competition in Japan, Constantin Silvestri Competition in Romania and the Antonio Pedrotti in Italy. He was moreover honored with all other special awards at these events.
He took his training both as a violinist and pianist and studied conducting with eminent maestros including Leonard Bernstein. Carlo Maria Giulini, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Brück, Yuri Temirkanov, Georg Tintner and, initially, with Raffi Armenian at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Montreal.