Scott Yoo

Conductor, violin

Host and Executive Producer, Great Performances: Now Hear This
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Mexico City Philharmonic

Scott Yoo has served as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mexico City Philharmonic since 2016. He is the first democratically elected and first foreign-born conductor in the orchestra’s history.  Since 2004, has served as Music Director of Festival Mozaic, an orchestral and chamber music festival in the Central Coast of California.  Mr. Yoo is also the Host and Executive Producer of the PBS series Now Hear This, the first show about classical music on American prime time TV since 1967.  Now Hear This received an Emmy nomination in 2021.

Mr. Yoo has conducted the Colorado, Dallas, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New World, San Francisco and Utah Symphonies, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in their Elliott Carter Festival and in his Carnegie Hall debut.  In Europe, he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Estonian National Symphony.  In Asia, Mr. Yoo has led the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Seoul Philharmonic and Busan Philharmonic in Korea.  His discography includes over 20 recordings on Bridge, Naxos, New World, and Sony Classical.

A proponent of the music of our time, Mr. Yoo has premiered 76 works by 39 composers. With the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Yoo recorded Mark O'Connor's American Seasons for Sony Classical; John Harbison's chamber orchestra works with soprano Dawn Upshaw for Bridge Records, nominated for a National Public Radio Performance Today Award; and song cycles of Earl Kim with sopranos Benita Valente and Karol Bennett for New World, named a Critics Choice by the New York Times. Other recording projects include complete orchestral works of Earl Kim with the RTE National Orchestra of Ireland for Naxos; the works of Carter, Lieberson, and Ruders; and the cycle of Mozart Piano Concertos.

After beginning his musical studies at age three, Mr. Yoo performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony at age 12.  He received First Prize in the 1988 Josef Gingold International Violin Competition, the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant.  In 1993, Mr. Yoo and Richard Lim founded the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra conducting the ensemble in its subscription series at Jordan Hall in Boston and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY, and on over 100 performances on tour.

Scott Yoo was born in Tokyo and raised in Glastonbury, CT.  He studied violin with Roman Totenberg, Albert Markov, Paul Kantor and Dorothy DeLay, and conducting with Michael Gilbert and Michael Tilson Thomas.  He has been the Conductor of the Colorado College Music Festival since 2002, and the founder of the Medellín Festicámara, a chamber music program that brings together world-class artists with underprivileged young musicians.  He attended Harvard University, where he received a bachelor’s degree.  In 2021 he received an honorary doctorate degree from Colorado College.

Find out more about Scott Yoo on his website.

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/30/2023