Amadéus Leopold (born Hanbin Yoo, 3 August 1987) is a Korean-American violinist. He made his international debut at age twelve at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 following a decade of study with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program and the Juilliard School.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Leopold began his violin studies at age five and won a top prize at the Korea Times Competition the same year. He made his first national television appearance at age eight in a documentary profiling Korean prodigies on the KBS network, showcasing his talent in violin performance and composing music, poetry, and plays. At age nine, Leopold was the youngest student accepted to the Korean National University of Arts. By age ten, Leopold had made his orchestral debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and performed solo recitals in several major concert halls throughout Korea.
He already had an exotic, double-barrelled name that wouldn't seem out of place alongside Björk, Madonna, Rihanna or Lady Gaga – and a daring performance style and aesthetic to match. But the classical chameleon formerly known as Hahn-Bin has changed his name to Amadeus Leopold in a bid to pay tribute to his violin idols.
"Amadeus Leopold is the name I have chosen for my American citizenship, while Hahn-Bin is my given Korean name," the New Yorker explained.
A kind of David Bowie of the classical music world and an underground fashion icon, the 25-year-old told Limelight that his new stage name reflects his "marriage and commitment to the new golden era of music – one where there is no boundary between what is classical and what is pop.
"We are very near that golden era of music; one that is reminiscent of the days when Liszt and Kreisler, Rachmaninov and Mozart himself, were the rockstars of their day. My role in this world is to embody the renaissance of classical music itself; I wanted to make that message clear to the world."