Venue: St. John's Smith Square, London SW1 3HA
Fee: £15, £10 (£13.50, £9 Concessions)
Conductor: YU Byung-yun
Soloist: Mami Shikimori
YU Byung-yun studied at the London College of Music and Kingston University, where he gained an MA in music. His knowledge of classical music made an impression on Mstistlav Rostroprovich on the occasion of the renowned cellist and conductor's 75th birthday when Byung interviewed him for the magazine "Auditorium". His conducting engagements have included Kingston Philharmonia, the London Korean Symphony Orchestra, the London College of Music Chamber Orchestra, the Rehearsal Orchestra, and both the Kingston University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He has been guest conductor with the Abbeye Ensemble, has an engagement with the Karnata Symphony Orchestra in India and is currently resident conductor of Thames Philharmonia. He has recently conducted Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, Brahms' 1st and 4th symphonies, Beethoven's 3rd and 5th symphonies, Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto and Sibelius' violin concerto in St. John's Smith Square, which were highly acclaimed. In the Fairfield Hall, in the summer of 2004 he directed an anniversary performance of the symphonic poem "Korean Fantasy" for choir and orchestra by Eak-Tai Ahn, and Beethoven's Triple Concerto.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Music in London in 1999 with the highest possible mark and the Hopkinson Gold Medal, Mami Shikimori has given many concerts in the UK, Japan, Thailand, Italy and the USA. Recent engagements have included concerts at the Carnegie Recital Hall and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò in New York, the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and tours of Northeast England, performing in the 'Master Musicians—International Piano Series'. She also performed in a masterclass with Stephen Kovacevich at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. She has won many prizes in prestigious competitions such as Ibla Grand Prize International Piano Competition in Italy (2003), the Peter Wallfisch Prize for the performance of Schubert (1999), the Kendall Taylor Beethoven Prize (1999), the Vivian Hamilton Prize (1998), the Millicent Silver Prize (1997), the Ellen Marie Curtis Prize (1996), the Marjorie & Arnold Ziff Prize and the Principles Special Award at the Royal College of Music. In 2002, she was selected by Manchester Midday Concert Society as one of the two most outstanding young pianists to perform at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. She has broadcast on KUSC, America's largest public-radio classical music station.