Artist Insight: Yeol Eum Son

8 April 2024

Yeol Eum Son performing Rach 3

In 2022 Yeol Eum Son made her first appearance with the TSO performing Chopin's Second Piano Concerto. Korean born, Yeol Eum has performed across the globe with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras. We were interested to know what brought her back to the TSO and what excites her about the Rach 3 Concerto and classical music in general.

What brought you back to Hobart after your performance in 2022? What excites you about playing with the TSO?

TSO is an amazing orchestra, in so many ways. You should feel extremely proud of :)))  They are so warm, welcoming, enthusiastic, and so well-responding, especially under a direction of Maestro Aadland, who I admire so much. Already in our first time together back in 2022, when I played the Chopin Concerto, it was obvious that they are so amazing in accompanying. In this concerto (Chopin 2), there is so little to do but it’s so hard to do it right! But they were so perfectly delicate - I felt so free!

I also enjoyed big time listening to the second half, I still remember their Mendelssohn Symphony from a year and a half ago which was so crispy, alive, yet classy. And I LOVED again the Tchaikovsky 6 this time.

Is there something in particular that you love about the Rach 3 concerto? What draws you to this piece?

I find this concerto much more personal than, for instance, no. 2, which is probably everyone’s favourite. No. 2 is more like “speaking out loud” about his feelings, and this concerto is more like, just “drawing the images which appeared at last night’s dream.” Of course some parts are even more vivid than the reality but still, I find many things so very intimate, and much more about “fantasies.”

In all your touring, do you have a particular country or part of the world you like to visit and why?

I’m really honest about this - that I so love this part of the world, Australia! Many things are different from rest of the world, not only the seasons 🙂 It is a true melting pot with lots of interesting people, and the nature here is just unbelievable, one of a kind!!!

Are there particular artists, composers, conductors, mentors that have inspired you or you have aspired to be like? What have they instilled in you?

My latest piano teacher, Mr. Arie Vardi has been always a great inspiration to me and he is still today. He’s someone of a vast knowledge that we would talk so much about, nearly everything - music, fine arts, literature, culinary, philosophy, history, religion and all that but at the same time, he is truly someone who made me realise that the more you know about something, you realise how little you know about it.

Is there one piece of music that you enjoy to play or listen to? If so, what is it that you love about the piece?

I love too many things. And I am someone who cannot live without diversity. It is always a thrill to “get back to” something from completely different things, for instance, to get back to Rachmaninov after playing a lot of Mozart, or to get back to Schumann after playing much Ravel, etc etc. But, if there’s one piece that I always enjoy so much playing is probably Hammerklavier Sonata by Beethoven. Because the piece is so giant, I never felt tired of the piece.

What is one thing about you that may surprise our audience?

That I’m almost forty? The week before I went to Hobart, I was in Auckland, (playing with Auckland Philharmonia) where many people were surprised by that…😂

Thank you Yeol Eum for giving us a glimpse into your loves and inspirations, we can't wait to see you back in Tasmania soon.

If you missed the Rach 3 performance or if you want to see it again, you can see it on TSO on Demand until Friday 12 Apr 2024.