Noted conductor Scott Yoo to lead La Sierra University Orchestra concert
Jan. 23, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Renowned guest conductor and violinist Scott Yoo has appeared with major orchestras around the world, won top awards and collaborated with star artists.
On Feb. 2, he will bring his talent and skill to Riverside when he conducts the La Sierra University Orchestra in a program featuring the works of Edvard Grieg, Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten.
The concert will be held in La Sierra’s Hole Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission is free. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. Information is at 951-785-2036.
La Sierra’s orchestra will perform Grieg’s “Two Elegiac Melodies for Strings, Op. 34,” Elgar’s “Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20,” and Britten’s “Simple Symphony, Op. 4.”
Yoo, a resident of New York, grew up in Hartford, Conn., the son of immigrants from Korea and Japan. He exhibited musical ability early in life and began studying violin at age 3. At age 12 he performed Felix Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Yoo went on to win prestigious music competitions and awards. Meanwhile, he earned a physics degree with honors from Harvard University in Boston while traveling and performing. In 1993 Yoo founded the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, conducting the ensemble’s first series at Jordan Hall in Boston and more than 90 performances on tour. In 1994 he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
He studied violin and conducting with music’s greats including, respectively, the late Dorothy DeLay, and with Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
Yoo’s conducting experiences have taken him around the world and comprise the bulk of his musical work. He is music director and principal conductor of the 41-year-old Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, and in November 2010 he debuted at New York City’s Carnegie Hall conducting the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also toured with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, a collaboration that included a January 2011 concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
As a guest conductor Yoo has led the Colorado, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Francisco, New World and Utah symphonies, the orchestras of Hong Kong, Winnipeg and Mexico City, the City of London Sinfonia, the Seoul Philharmonic and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. He has premiered 59 works by 30 composers, has recorded on Sony Classical, Delos, Archetype, New World and Naxos labels and has collaborated with such prominent artists as Sarah Chang and Dawn Upshaw. His Metamorphosen orchestral recording of song cycles by Earl Kim with sopranos Benita Valente and Karol Bennett garnered a 2001 Critics Choice award by the New York Times.
He first performed at La Sierra in March 2011 as a violinist in a quintet of top musicians that included Jason Uyeyama, La Sierra’s director of string studies. The two musicians are long-time friends and collaborators. Uyeyama began playing with Yoo’s Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in 2001. “As our music director, [Yoo] inspired us with his incredible conviction and unique ability to connect with audiences, not to mention his flawless violin playing,” Uyeyama said in a previous interview. “We are fortunate to have Scott Yoo as a guest artist.”