Heralded by the Washington Post as a pianist with “extraordinary sensitivity and technical skill,” Shirley Yoo has performed internationally at venues such as the Tata Theatre, Mumbai; Arts Center, Seoul; Penderecki Festival, Banff; Societa Filarmonica, Trento; and Steinway Hall, London. Her numerous performances in the United States include radio broadcasts of solo and chamber recitals on WQED and WQLN.
Recognized as the top prizewinner for her solo performance in such competitions as the Pennsylvania Federation of Music Clubs, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Kosciuszko Foundation’s National Chopin Competition, Yoo is also passionate about chamber music. She was a founding member of the Annapolis Chamber Players, an ensemble of winds, strings and two pianos. Additionally, she was a founding core member of League of the Unsound Sound (LotUS), a chamber group dedicated to performing contemporary and experimental music. In spring 2011, their first season, the Washington Post reviewed their concert at Catholic University and called her playing “a spectacular performance […] that really stole the show.” She has also collaborated with members of So Percussion performing contemporary repertoire for two pianos and percussion. In the fall of 2012, New World Records released “Circadian Rhythms,” on which she performed works by Mathew Rosenblum.
Yoo studied at Johns Hopkins University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, received a Master of Music degree on a fellowship at the University of Maryland, and completed post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After earning her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Peabody Institute, for several years she taught at the Conservatory and at Temple Preparatory and worked at Curtis Institute as staff accompanist. She then held a professorship in piano and was Artist-in-Residence at Mercyhurst University. She has since returned to teach at Peabody Conservatory and resides in Baltimore. Her primary teachers include Raymond Hanson, Ann Koscielny, Noretta Conci-Leech, and Ellen Mack. She has also worked with Marc Durand, Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, and Seymour Lipkin. Past chamber music studies include coachings with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Shanghai, and Tokyo String Quartets. The recipient of a Presser Award, Yoo was also awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Grant.