Masterclass with Hee-Young Lim, cellist

Praised by the Washington Post as “a deeply gifted musician, with a full, singing tone, near- flawless technique and a natural lyricism that infused nearly every note she played,” cellist Hee- Young Lim has quickly established herself as one of the most charismatic and fast-rising cellists of her generation.

Born in Seoul, she was accepted to the Pre-College division of Korean National University of Arts and Yewon Arts School, winning prizes for Excellence in Music and the Most Distinguished Alumni Award. She entered the Korean National University at age 15, as the youngest student ever to be accepted. She moved to the United States to further her education at the New England Conservatory. Upon graduation at NEC, she went on to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, studying with Philippe Muller, where she graduated with ‘Highest Distinction’ (‘mention très bien à l’unanimité’). She is also a graduate of Hochschule für Musik 'Franz Liszt' Weimar, where she earned her Konzertexamen degree “mit auszeichnung” (summa cum laude).

Hee-Young was appointed as the Principal Solo Cellist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, after an extended (four-year) search to fill this position. She was one of the first female Asian cellists ever lead a section in a major European orchestra. In 2018, she was invited to join the teaching faculty of the Beijing Central Conservatory, the first Korean professor ever appointed to this prestigious conservatory. 

In-demand as a soloist, she has in recent years performed with distinguished ensembles including the Deutsche Berlin Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Radio Philharmonic, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the Jenaer Philharmonie, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the KBS Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Symphony Orchestra, the Baden-Baden Philharmonie, the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, the Bandung Philharmonic, the Korean Chamber Orchestra, the Incheon Symphony Orchestra, the Ningbo Symphony, Zagreb Soloists and many others. 

Hee-Young has been a featured guest artist on the Korean Radio Broadcasting station, WETA, WFMT, KUHF, RTKK, and Polski radio.

As an enthusiast advocate of contemporary music, Hee-Young is privileged to champion the work of today's composers. Most recently, Columbia University in New York commissioned her to give the European premiere of Peter Susser’s Cello Suite in Paris - and in 2019 she will give the Asia premiere of Jakub Jankowski’s Aspects of Return at the Tong Yeong International Music Festival. 

Teaching has been a very significant aspect of Hee-Young’s career. She has hold master classes at Seoul's Ewha University, Rotterdam Conservatory, Paris Reuil-Malmaison Conservatoire, and Jakarta University, among others.

She plays on a 1714 Joseph Filius Andrea Guarneri Cello graciously given by a private donor and a Dominique Peccatte bow.


In the 2019/2020 season, Hee-Young Lim will give the Asia premiere of Jakub Jankowski’s Aspects of Return at the Tong Yeong International Music Festival, soloist with the Zagreb Soloists, Jakarta Symphony, Orchestras in China and Korea including Korean Symphony, Suwon Philharmonic, Daegu, Kwangju, Gangnam, Beijing Symphony and Wuhan Symphony, Complete the Bach Suite Cycle, Duo récital with cellist Philippe Muller in Beijing, teaching at the Vienna Summer Academy and Galicia Music Festival in Spain.

She has released her debut recording with the London Symphony Orchestra with the Sony Classical in November 2018, recorded works by French composers, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Milhaud, Offenbach and Massenet. Her second recording of Russian Cello Sonatas is expected to be released in 2019.

Friday, March 8 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Brennan Family Recital Hall
2330 North Halsted Street

Event Type



School of Music, (All) School of Music, Masterclasses


Free/non-ticketed and open to the public

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