Hyeyung Sol Yoon (she/her) is an artist at the margin of her American and Korean identities who plays the violin, composes, teaches, and organizes arts communities in a career that spans over two decades. Her experience of immigrating to the U.S. from Korea at the age of 7 and traveling to her motherland to research Korea’s shaman rituals and folk performances continue to inspire and inform her own creative work. Performance and composition projects in the 2022-2023 season include a collection of musical and visual poems Uhmuhni, a collaboration between Yoon and Hanji artist Aimee Lee inspired by the often unheard stories of Korean and Korean-American women. She is the recipient of the New Music USA 2022 Creator Development Fund which supports the development of the work in November 2022 at Lee’s Hanji studio in Cleveland, OH. Yoon is also currently creating musical works for a project led by artists and dancers Michael Sakamoto (Butoh) and George de la Peña (Ballet), and her work “Garden of the Willis” choreographed by Sakamoto and de la Peńa had its world premiere in April 2022 performed by the students from the University of Nebraska’s dance department. She and her colleagues will be in residence at the Pillow Lab at Jacob’s Pillow in October 2022 to develop the work. Current commissions from composers include a work for violin and piano by Mathew Fuerst as well as a solo violin work by Texu Kim.
After recognizing the need for many to explore their identity as Asians working in the classical music field in the U.S., she founded the Asian Musical Voices of America (AMVA), an organization that is devoted to community-building and activism for change and where stories can be shared by and for Asian diasporic musicians. She was a violinist in the Chiara String Quartet for 18 years before celebrating the ensemble’s last season in 2018. She and her colleagues launched “Chamber Music in Any Chamber” which brought the ensemble to over 50 clubs and bars across the U.S. and performed by heart including the Complete String Quartets of Béla Bartók at the Ravinia Festival in 2016. Discography includes recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets, nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011, and Bartók by Heart, Complete String Quartets, released in 2016.
Her vibrant performance career with the Chiara String Quartet, which celebrated its last season as a full-time ensemble in spring 2018, has brought her to exciting venues around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art as its artist-in-residence, Ravinia Festival, Library of Congress, Seoul Arts Center, Miller Theatre, American Academy of Rome, Bard Music Festival, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Discography include recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets, released by New Amsterdam Records, which was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2011, Bartók by Heart, the Complete String Quartets of Béla Bartók, released by Azica Records in 2016, and Brahms by Heart, the Complete String Quartets of Johannes Brahms released by Azica Records in 2014. Her recording of Pange Lingua, Duo for Violin and Piano, a work she commissioned from composer Robert Sirota in memory of her grandfather, was released on Albany Records in 2015. Her performance of Philip Glass’s Pendulum for Violin and Piano was featured on NPR’s Performance Today in 2018.
Hyeyung has collaborated with many leading classical musicians including the members of The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, Paul Katz, and Soyeon Kate Lee. She and the Chiara String Quartet have commissioned Nico Muhly, Huang Ruo, Pierre Jalbert, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Robert Sirota, Hans Tutschku, Daniel Ott, among others. Hyeyung was the Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University (2008-2014) and a Hixson-Lied Artist-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2005-2018). Hyeyung is a graduate of the Juilliard School (B.M. and Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies) where she studied with Sally Thomas and coached with the members of the Juilliard String Quartet.