Joo Yeon Sir

Joo Yeon Sir

Key Facts


Described by Strad Magazine as “exuberant… seductive… with bravura and oodles of personality”, Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir studied at the Purcell School of Music and the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Dr Felix Andrievsky. She is a former winner of the Royal College of Music’s President’s Award and the prestigious Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award (in association with Classic FM). Following the Arts Club Award, her collaboration with Sir Karl Jenkins has resulted in two works especially written for her unique sound and personality – Lament for the Valley (which became part of his choral work Cantata Memoria, released on disc by Deutsche Grammophon) and Chatterbox! (originally for violin/piano, but now also orchestrated for violin/string orchestra). She has performed with major orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra and London Mozart Players at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and at St. James’s Palace for HRH The Prince of Wales.

In the 2015-2016 season, she was a St John’s Smith Square Young Artist and recorded her debut recital disc there during the residency: Suites & Fantasies, released in 2017 by Rubicon and described as “dazzling” by The Guardian, features music by Schnittke, De Falla, Britten, Milhaud, Frolov/Gershwin (with Irina Andrievsky) and has already been featured by the BBC and RTE. As shown by her debut disc, Joo Yeon’s repertoire is striking and diverse: in recital, she is equally at home in solo violin repertoire (Bach, Ysaÿe, Kreisler and Paganini) as she is in close collaboration with piano (in major works ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Elgar and Stravinsky) or guitar, as one half of the Snowden-Sir Duo. She has recently played concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Barber, Dvorak, Sibelius, Walton, Bruch and Brahms; other concerto repertoire includes Haydn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, and a particular interest in 20th century works by Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Korngold, Britten, Schnittke and Shostakovich.

Amongst many recital and concerto performances this season, Joo Yeon is recording her second solo disc. She will also be an Artist-in-Residence for the 2018 Lichfield Festival; as part of her residency she will play the complete Paganini Caprices, music by Bernstein and Gershwin, and a world premiere by British composer Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade.

Joo Yeon plays on a Matteo Goffriller violin kindly provided by Georg von Opel.


Musicians’ Company Award: RCM Lambert Fellowship 2014 

Page Updated: May 2018