Yiruma is the stage and daily name of Rhee Rouma who was born on February 15, 1978, is a popular internationally known pianist and composer from South Korea. The name “Yiruma” means “accomplishment” in Korean.
Yiruma’s piano music is expressive and introspective. He frequently performs at sold-out concerts in Asia, Europe and North America. His Alma Mater King’s College in England helped him gain European popularity and recognition. Several of his most popular pieces include, “River Flows in You”, “Kiss the Rain”, and “Maybe”. His most popular album “First Love” was released in 2001.
He began playing the piano at the age of five, and moved to London when he was 11, in 1988, to study at The Purcell School of Music . He possessed dual citizenship of South Korea and England until 2006. In 2006, he gave up his UK citizenship to serve in the Navy of South Korea.Yiruma married Son Hye-Im on May 27, 2007 and they have a daughter, Loanna.
Rhee Rouma was born and raised in South Korea, and educated in England. Yiruma began playing the piano at the age of five, and subsequently moved to London at the age of eleven (1988), to study at The Purcell School of Music. In December 1996 he participated in the album The Musicians of Purcell (Decca). Graduating from Purcell School of Music in July 1997, Yiruma continued his musical aspirations and completed a Composition major from King's College London in June 2000. While studying at Kings College, this promising pianist released his first album "Love Scene" through DECCA records.
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”.
Yiruma's musical style is easy to misclassify. Because his music is popular among many listeners who are not familiar with classical music, 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 World Music or 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 Conservatory 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.
There’s a certain quality to his music… There seemed only to be love in his tunes, the positive and the hopeful. This may be hard to comprehend, but if you’ve you heard his music before, you’ll understand. I feel blessed to just be seated there among the audience and hearing his music. His music speaks to your heart and he captivated everyone with his tunes.
On November 11, Happy Holic Entertainment revealed that Yiruma will start ‘The Best‘ nationwide concert tour in Busan before moving on to Gwangju, Ulsan, Daejeon, and 10 other cities. This will be Yiruma’s first promotional activity since his legal dispute erupted back in 2009 against his former entertainment label, Stomp Music.
The concert will have a ’10 year anniversary’ theme and will showcase a different side to Yiruma’s music and personal life through the special performances he’s prepared for fans.
Yiruma commented, “I hope that my music doesn’t separate from your lives. Instead, I want it to be with you always, as if it’s the background music of your lives“.