Ian Yungwook Yoo was born in 1977 in Seoul, Korea, where he began his musical studies. He gave his first recital at age 10, performing his own compositions. In recognition of his exceptional talent, he received several grants to support his education in his native country and later in the United States. In 1996, he enrolled at the Juilliard School in the studio of Martin Canin. In 1997, he moved to the studio of Jerome Lowenthal, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in 2001. From 2002, he began studying with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received the degree of Master of Music in 2004. Since the spring of 2009 Yoo has been serving as a professor at the Yonsei University in Korea.
Yungwook Yoo’s professional career was first launched when he won by unanimous vote the first prize of the 13th Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition in 1998. Since then, he has performed in over 20 countries throughout the world, and has released his first commercial CD under the Naxos label, featuring piano transcriptions by Franz Liszt. Yoo has also been a prize-winner in other international competitions including the Richter Competition in Moscow, Vianna da Motta in Portugal, International E-Competition in US and Montreal International Music Competition in Canada. In 2007, Ian Yungwook Yoo received the first prize from the Beethoven Competition in Bonn, whose prize included 30,000 Euro, worldwide concert tours as well as a recording contract.
Yoo has performed with important orchestras including St. Petersburg Symphony, France National, Spanish National and Dresden Symphony under the baton of such notable conductors as James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Pinchas Steinberg, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and Victor Pablo. The prestigious venues he performed at include Wigmore Hall in London, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Carnegie Hall in New York, Tonhalle in Zurich, UNESCO Hall in Paris, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona and the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid. He has also been a featured soloist in many international festivals such as the Berliner Begegnungen, Ruhr Klavierfestival, Hundisburg, Yokohama, Radio France and Al Bustan.