She started playing when she was only aged 2 years and 8 months, and has since performed some of the most difficult compositions at top events in her country, but violin prodigy Seol Yoeun says she's still years away from mastering the instrument.
Now 10, Yoeun is making her UAE debut this weekend at the Emirates International Peace Music Festival on Saturday. She will perform alongside the Emirates Youth and Symphony Orchestra at the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy and then on Sunday at the Ignite School auditorium in Dubai as part of the Korean Cultural Centre UAE's Korea Festival 2022. Both shows are free to attend.
"It's my first time performing in the UAE and I am so thankful to be invited and I'm excited and happy to play," she tells The National, speaking through a translator.
An only child, Yoeun made her stage debut at the Youth Festival of Gwangmyeong city in South Korea when she was only 4, in 2016. The next year, she appeared on a show that showcases highly gifted and talented children, on South Korea's SBS TV.
She has since performed at many high-profile events in her country, but says her coming UAE trip is one of her first major tours abroad.
"I performed at the Salzberg Cathedral last summer. I do have a lot of performances in Korea but not many overseas performances yet," she says.
Yoeun, originally from Suwon, about 30 kilometres from Seoul, mostly travels with her mother. A student at the Seoul Central Conservatory, she says she practises for at least five hours a day.
Her favourite musical piece to perform is a composition titled Etude Caprice Op 18, No 4 by Henryk Wieniawski, considered one of the greatest violinists that ever lived.
In her spare time, she says she loves to go skating and read Harry Potter books.
Her biggest dream is to continue playing the violin. "I just want to make people happy by listening to me play."
Seol Yoeun's performances on October 22 and 23 at the Emirates International Peace Music Festival are free to attend, but registration is a must at kcceyso.splashthat.com