Artistic Director
Dr. Esther S. Yoo

photo of Esther S. Yoo, HSC's Artistic Director

Esther S. Yoo is the Artistic Director of the Oʻahu Choral Society and conducts the Honolulu Symphony Chorus. She is also Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities at Hawaiʻi Pacific University. A native of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Yoo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Conducting, both from the University of Toronto studying with Raffi Armenien and Doreen Rao.

In addition, Dr. Yoo graduated with an Artist Diploma in piano performance from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and has studied extensively with Russian pianist Vera Gornostaeva. She has appeared in festivals and masterclasses in France, Austria and Switzerland and has given recitals in Germany, France and Italy. As a conductor, Dr. Yoo was invited as a conducting fellow at the Oregon Bach Festival and Toronto Bach Festival with Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She has also participated in conducting master classes with Robert Shaw, Sir David Willcocks, Harry Christophers, Stephen Darlington and Dale Warland.

Esther Yoo brings professional choral singing experience, having sung under the batons of Robert Shaw, James Levine, James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling, among others. A versatile conductor, she has worked extensively with high school, collegiate and professional choirs, including choirs at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hollins University, University of Toronto and at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. She also directed choirs at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and conducted concerts with Canada's professional chamber choir, The Elmer Iseler Singers. Since coming to Hawaiʻi, Dr. Yoo has conducted major choral/symphonic works including Verdi's Requiem with the Freiburg Kammerphilharmonie, and J. S. Bach’s Magnificat and John Rutter’s Gloria with the Honolulu Symphony. More recently she has conducted Mozart's Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Carmina Burana and Brahms' Requiem with members of the Hawaiʻi Symphony. She has also directed the Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and conducted Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Mass with the Hawaiʻi Youth Symphony.

Dr. Yoo is active as guest clinician and adjudicator and serves as past-president of the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Previously, she held faculty positions at Hollins University in Virginia and University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. She is also a member of Chorus America, National Collegiate Chorus Organization, Hawaiʻi Music Teacher's Association, College Music Society and International Federation of Choral Musicians.