Meet Brian Yoon, Canada's next cello superstar. Yoon is one of CBC Music's Next! artists for 2013. Next! presents eight rising Canadian stars in classical music, recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio 2's In Concert. Below you can learn about Yoon, watch him perform and read our interview with him.
Born in South Korea, Yoon started music lessons at the age of six. After moving to Canada, he continued his cello studies at the Vancouver Academy of Music and hasn't looked back since. He's now an alumnus of the University of Ottawa and Rice University, where he studied with cellists Paul Marleyn and Desmond Hoebig. Yoon has also attended the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program, as well as participating in master classes at the Banff Centre, le Domaine Forget and the Orford Arts Centre.
As the winner of the 2012 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, Yoon has performed recitals all across Canada. He has also performed with the Guelph and Ottawa symphonies. His performance of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 107, at the National Arts Centre was praised by the Ottawa Citizen as an “impressive account” with “exquisite phrasing.” Yoon is currently principal cellist in the Victoria Symphony.
Watch CBC's exclusive video of Yoon's Nov. 17 performance at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto:
We wanted to learn more, so we spoke with Yoon.
What must you do before heading onstage to perform?
I can’t go onstage without checking my fly.
What would you be if you weren't a professional cellist?
I would have been an orthopedic surgeon, or at least tried to be.
Who are your favourite composers?
Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Martinu.
What is one thing people might not know about you?
I played clarinet in middle school.
What is your idea of happiness?
A pitcher of beer with friends after a great concert.
What is a quality you like most about yourself?
I'm always open to new experiences.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my passion for music.
What is a talent you'd most like to have?
Being a good writer.
What's the most unusual thing on your iPod?
"Inquisition Symphony" by Sepultura and some '90s K-pop.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Late night desserts and poker.
Visit Yoon's CBC Music artist page. Learn about his upcoming concerts with the Victoria Symphony here. Check out Yoon's complete Glenn Gould Studio session here.
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