© Diana Roberts


Described by Strad Magazine as "exuberant... seductive... with bravura and oodles of personality" Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir is winner of the prestigious Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award, in association with Classic FM, and the Royal College of Music's President's Award. She has performed at the Royal Albert Hall with Sir Karl Jenkins and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Fairfield Halls and at St. James's Palace for HRH The Prince of Wales. She regularly appears on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Scala Radio.

Her repertoire is striking and diverse. She has 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 - Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Elgar, Britten, Schnittke, Khachaturian and Shostakovich. In recital, she is equally at home in solo violin repertoire (Bach, Ysaye, Kreisler and Paganini) as she is in close collaboration with piano or guitar (the latter as one half of the Snowden-Sir Duo). Her collaboration with Sir Karl Jenkins has already 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) and Chatterbox! (originally for violin/piano, but now also orchestrated for violin/string orchestra).


Aged sixteen, Joo Yeon was overall Grand Prix Laureate at the Nedyalka Simeonova International Violin Competition in Bulgaria. After studying at the Royal College of Music, with Dr. Felix Andrievsky, in 2015-6 she was selected for the St. John's Smith Square young Artist Residency. She has also been a Tillett Trust Young Artist and the grateful recipient of many awards, from the Royal Philharmonic Society, Making Music and others.


Also a composer, Joo Yeon won the coveted BBC/Guardian Young Composer of the Year and her works have been premiered and performed at the Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3. Her work, written for herself and duo guitar partner, Laura Snowden, was premiered on BBC Radio 3 to celebrate International Women's Day 2017.


The 2016-2017 season saw the release of two discs: the Deutsche Grammophon CD and world premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria - For the Children, recorded with Sinfonia Cymru, and her first solo CD - Suites & Fantasies - with her duo partner Irina Andrievsky, which was released to great critical acclaim by Rubicon: "A dazzling debut... Joo Yeon Sir melds technical assurance with rare artistic sensibility" The Guardian.


2018 saw a busy residency at the Lichfield Festival, where she performed the complete Paganini Caprices for the first time, along with a world premiere by Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, concerto performances in Prague and at St John's Smith Square and The Lark Ascending at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as recitals in London and in Cheltenham.


Last season saw her debut with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, plus concertos by Glazunov, Prokofiev, Bruch, Barber and Elgar, alongside recitals in London and at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.


This spring, Joo Yeon also released her second disc, Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies (also with Rubicon), featuring music by Stravinsky, Bartok and Vladigerov. The album has already been a critical success: "filigreed, gossamer-weight nibleness" Gramophone; "lovely playing...the kind of imaginative album a new generation of young classical performers is creating" BBC Radio 3.


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

(2018-2019 season)

For audio and video recordings of Joo Yeon's performances, please visit her YouTube channel.

If you would like to join Joo Yeon's mailing list, please contact her: jymsir@hotmail.com




Watch the teaser and interview on YouTube


Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies is inspired by the close working relationships between composers and virtuoso violinists from the eighteenth century to the twentieth; and each piece also owes a debt to earlier music, whether folk melodies, Baroque variations, or the works of nineteenth-century composers.


Works included on the CD:

Bach/Mendelssohn Chaconne arranged for Violin and Piano

Vitali/Charlier Chaconne for Violin and Piano

Stravinsky/Dushkin Divertimento after ballet Fairy's Kiss

Bartok Rhapsody No. 1

Vladigerov Rhapsody 'Vardar'

Castelnuovo-Tedesco/Heifetz Concert Rhapsody on Rossini's Opera 'Figaro'



Available on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Presto Classical, iTunes, Spotify and Synnara Records Korea


Suites & Fantasies (Rubicon Classics, May 2017)

Korean born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir makes her dazzling debut recording in a programme of suites and fantasies by composers you rarely see on the same album. Schnittke's nostaglic Suite in an Olden Style is an affectionate tribute to Bach, Britten's precocious early Suite op. 6 is a work of both great virtuosity and stunning individuality whose relative neglect is difficult to fathom. Milhaud's witty 'Cinema Fantasy' from Le Boeuf sur le Toit and Frolov's sparkling Fantasy on themes from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess conclude a daring and original programme.


Works included on the CD:

Schnittke Suite in Old Style

De Falla Spanish Folksong Suite 

Britten Suite for Violin and Piano

Milhaud Cinema Fantasie 'Le Boeuf sur le Toit'

Frolov Concert Fantasy on Gershwin's Opera 'Porgy and Bess'