Canadian musician Naomi Woo (b. 1990) is an accomplished solo pianist and chamber musician, and an aspiring conductor. Naomi graduated from Yale College in 2012 with a BA in Math and Philosophy (magna cum laude) and received Yale's highest arts award, the Louis Sudler Prize for excellence in the performing arts. She is also the recipient of the Joseph Lentilhon Selden Memorial Award (for “verve, idealism and constructive interest in music and the humanities”) and the Wrexham Prize in Music. She has been recognized for academic distinction in Music, Mathematics, and Philosophy, and is a member of the scholastic honour society Phi Beta Kappa. Naomi will graduate with a Masters of Music from the Yale School of Music in 2013.
Since making her concerto debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at age 12, playing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, she has appeared as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Northwest of Seattle. She has won numerous awards at music festivals and was twice chosen to perform at the gala concert of the national Canadian Music Competition. At age 15, she received the Gold Medal for the highest mark in Canada in her Royal Conservatory ARCT Exam.
Naomi has performed for the Vancouver Recital Society Young Masters Project, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Banff Centre. Her Carnegie Hall debut in December 2011, sponsored by the Prokofiev Society of America and the Yale School of Music, was praised as an “elegant performance” in the New York Times.
A passionate advocate for modern music and interdisciplinary musical collaborations, Naomi was co-director of the contemporary ensemble SIC InC in 2011-2012. During her tenure, the ensemble collaborated with Yale Dancers, Control Group (an experimental theatre troupe), and a group of prominent Yale filmmakers and visual artists in a season of highly successful performances to sold-out audiences. Her performances of contemporary music have been featured at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, the Gamper Festival for Contemporary Music in Maine, and at FEMFEST: Classical, a New Haven event she organized in 2009 featuring works by female composers.
As a conductor, Naomi served as Music Director of Yale’ s Berkeley College Orchestra in 2011-2012. She has frequently conducted piano concertos as a soloist from the keyboard, most recently in a performance of Bach’s Concerto no. 5 in F minor with the Yale Symphony Orchestra (March 2012). She has also directed several operas with the Opera Theatre of Yale College, including Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso (February 2012), Mozart’s Così fan Tutte (April 2011), and the world premier of David Leigh’s The Binding of Isaac (October 2010).
Naomi currently studies piano with Melvin Chen at the Yale School of Music where she takes secondary violin lessons with Kyung Yu. She has also studied piano with Wei-Yi Yang and Lorraine Ambrose; violin with Joan Blackman; chamber music with Michael Friedmann and Joseph Elworthy; and conducting with Toshiyuki Shimada. Naomi is grateful to the Koerner Foundation for the Arts in Vancouver, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society for generous support.