In an alternate universe, in this year’s Waterloo Festival ERSO would have been proudly presenting a concerto performed by the winner of the 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year. Sadly that can’t happen, but we wanted you to meet our finalists.
PRESTON YEO, violin
What is your main occupation at the moment?
I am currently a final-year Undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music and will soon continue onto the Postgraduate course.
What are your ambitions for the future?
My dream is to perform as a soloist and collaborator, working with inspiring musicians and sharing music with people all around the world.
What made you choose to play your instrument and how old were you when you started?
When I was about three years old, as I was listening to my older sister practising at home, I felt inspired to pick up one of her tiny violins and join in! I started formal violin lessons soon after that and have loved being on this journey.
What made you choose the concerto that you will be playing?
For me, there are many aspects that make Sibelius' Violin Concerto special. I would say the most striking sense throughout is of the bittersweet tragic-heroism (perhaps somewhat autobiographical), from stark isolation to overwhelming power. I am also most compelled by the evocative characters and influences from Finnish culture and folklore woven throughout the entire fabric of the work. All this creates a journey which you can't help but be swept along with!
What do you feel you would gain from the experience of winning this competition and playing your concerto with ERSO and Chris Stark?
Winning the competition would mean so much more than just gaining the opportunity to perform as a soloist with orchestra; The opportunity to work on the concerto and perform it with an inspiring, imaginative conductor, coupled with dedicated and passionate musicians, fills me with excitement and joy. I look forward to sharing this powerful and thrilling experience with everyone!
Find out more about Preston and hear him on social media: