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Yiruma - Biography
|last update : 01-12-2011 21:09|
| Yiruma, also known as Lee Ru-ma, was born February 15, 1978 in South Korea. He chose his stage name of Yiruma because it means "I shall achieve" in Korean. Yiruma performs all over Europe, Asia, and North America. His concerts are almost always sold out. Some of his most popular pieces include, "River Flows in You" (my personal favorite), "Kiss the Rain", and "May Be". His most popular album First Love was released in 2001. At the age of 5, he began playing piano. After he turned 11 in 1988, he moved to London, where he attended The Purcell School of Music and King's College London in June 2000. While studying at Kings College, this promising pianist released his first album "Love Scene" through DECCA records. Additionally, during his time in college, he participated in a musical tour in Europe. Making a historical impact for his country, Yiruma was the first Korean artist to receive an invitation to perform at the 2002 MIDEM in Cannes, France. Early in his career, his albums were released in Europe and Asia, they are now available internationally through various online sources such as iTunes, Amazon, and Yiruma's recording label STOMP Records. In 2001 he released his most popular album to date, "First Love". His #1 selling piece "River Flows in You" was on this album and since 2001 this piece has been released on two other albums. Yiruma released his third album, From The Yellow Room in 2003. Pre-order sales topped 30,000 copies and the album was top-ranked on many popular music charts, including Yes 24, Phono, and Hot Tracks. His 12-city Korean tour was a sellout, as well as his November concert at the Seoul National Arts Center.
His fourth album is POEMUSIC. In 2006, the following year, he composed a main theme piece for a popular KBS drama, Spring Waltz. In his fifth album, H.I.S. Monologue, he utilized prepared piano. Yiruma has composed soundtracks for musicals, films and plays. While being internationally successful in the world music industry, Yiruma dutifully decided to fulfill his South Korean patriotic duty of serving his country. Hence, in 2006 he gave up his British citizenship and enlisted in the Korean Navy. Upon completing his service in the Korean Navy, he began the 2008 Yiruma Come Back Tour, Ribbonized, in 20 cities across Korea. Additionally, on January 1, 2009, he became a DJ for KBS1FM Yiruma's Music from All Around the World.
Yiruma married Son Hye-Im on May 27, 2007. The piece "27 May" is about his marriage to Son Hye-Im. Her younger sister is the Korean actress Son Tae Young, who attended Yiruma's concert with her husband, Kwon Sang-Woo, who at the time was a huge actor in South Korea.
On his spiritual viewpoint, Yiruma has stated, "I'm Christian, and I am not a New-age artist". Most people misunderstand me." In his album H.I.S Monologue , the artist composed a piece titled, "Lord...Hold my Hand".
Yiruma's musical style is easy to misclassify. Because his music is popular among many listeners who are not familiar with classical, the solo piano instrumentation and tendency toward "movements" often leads to labels like "new classical" or "contemporary classical". However, although his composition studies would have included the classics, neither the structure of his pieces nor his technique as a pianist are heavily influenced by them. His music has sometimes been classified vaguely as "popular", as shown by the inclusion of his hit piece River Flows in You on a compilation of wedding pieces titled "Wedding Essentials: The Ceremony".According to the iTunes Store, he is actually considered a New Age artist.
For the actual structure of his music, the movement and reach required to play his pieces averages around Grade 7 by Royal standards. Pattern and repetition feature prominently, however, making the structure more like popular pieces or movie themes than traditional solo piano compositions. Yiruma's pieces are also heavy in simple melody and rhythm, making them immediately attractive to many modern ears.