Hailed by The New York Times as “the refined pianist”, pianist Ko-Eun Yi, the winner of the CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, has earned praise for playing with “élan and fire and a surplus of bravura technique” (Cincinnati Enquirer). She has garnered numerous top prizes in her career, with successes at the 2010 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati and the 2010 Wideman International Piano Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. The Washington Post applauded her debut recital in DC: “a masterful technician … Her finger-work was immaculate, inner voices were keenly drawn out, and there was no lack of power when needed.”
Recent seasons have included concerto engagements with the Midland-Odessa Symphony in Texas (Prokofiev Concerto No. 3), University of Chicago Symphony (Gershwin Concerto in F), Garden State Philharmonic Orchestra (Beethoven Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’), and Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (Saint-Saëns Concerto No.5 ‘Egyption’). Featured recitals have included appearances at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and Florence Chamber Music Series of South Carolina. Additional solo performances include engagements at The Van Cliburn’s Chopin Festival in Fort Worth, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, Atlantic Music Center in Florida and the Artist Series of Tallahassee, plus numerous recitals throughout the greater New York area.
She has been featured on WQXR’s long-running Young Artists Showcase program, including a live interview and performance in studio, and she was also invited to participate in WQXR’s June 2016 Chopin Piano Marathon, with a live video-stream of her performances of Chopin’s Ballade No.1 and Scherzo No.1, followed by later audio broadcast. Her recordings were aired in WFSU in Tallahassee, WCRB in Boston, WFMT in Chicago, WETA in Washington, WRR in Texas, and WVIA in Philadelphia.
The Cincinnati Enquirer praised her Gold medal-winning concerto performance at the World Piano Competition: “…a fantasy world of shimmering sounds and colors. Her playing was at once flawless and dazzling…” Additional concerto highlights for Ko-Eun include performances with the Barcelona, Jerusalem, and Boston, Roswell and New West Symphony Orchestras, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Aspen Concert Orchestra, working with such conductors as Lawrence Foster, Leon Fleisher, Christopher Wilkins, and Marcelo Lehninger. She toured South America playing Saint-Saëns concerto No. 2 with the New England Youth Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zander.
A compelling recitalist, Ko-Eun has given solo concerts around the U.S. at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, as well as internationally in Spain and South Korea. At the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2013, Ko-Eun was also awarded the Victor & Sono Elmaleh Piano Prize for winning the nationally recognized competition.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ko-Eun Yi began her piano studies at the age of three. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at The Juilliard School studying with Jerome Lowenthal and completed her Professional Studies degree with André-Michel Schub at Manhattan School of Music. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, as a student of Christina Dahl.