Brian Yoon, Principal Cello

Cellist Brian Yoon has been described by the CBC (Canadian Broadasting Corporation) as “Canada’s next cello superstar”. Currently the Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony, he has been a guest principal with the Kingston Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Brian also served as Assistant Principal Cello of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in the second half of the 2017/18 season. Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, he has been presented in recital from coast to coast, with performances of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Metallica. As a soloist, Brian regularly performs with orchestras across Canada: his performance of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 at the National Arts Centre was praised by the Ottawa Citizen as an “impressive account” with “exquisite phrasing”.

Born in South Korea, Brian started music lessons at the age of six. After immigrating to Canada, he continued cello studies with Judith Fraser at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where he was awarded the Certificate in Music Performance. He began post-secondary studies in the Faculty of Science at UBC, but later completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa studying with Paul Marleyn, and a Master of Music at Rice University studying with Desmond Hoebig. Brian has been generously supported by the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.

A dedicated teacher, Brian is on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music as a private instructor and a chamber music coach for the Collegium Program. He has given master classes at the University of Victoria and for the Vancouver Cello Club. His students regularly participate in the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival and have gone on to study cello performance at the University of Ottawa and the University of Victoria.

He currently plays a 2010 cello by David Wiebe (Woodstock, NY) and a 2014 bow by Reid Hudson (Duncan, BC).

Hometown: Vancouver, BC

First season with the VS: 2012/13

Most memorable VS experience: First time ever performing the cello solo from Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 (February 2015)—it is one of the most beautiful and difficult cello solos in orchestral repertoire, and after practising it so many times for auditions, it was so satisfying to play it in concert.

Hobbies and interests: tennis, poker, craft beer

Favourite things to do around the capital region: hiking up Mt. Finlayson; flying stunt kites at Clover Point

For information on Brian’s other musical activities, visit



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