Born on February 15, 1978 in Seoul, South Korea, pianist Yiruma (real name: I Ru-ma) has released a string of successful albums in the 2000s and managed to land a number one hit with his composition "River Flows in You." Additionally, he was the first Korean artist to be invited to perform at the 2002 MIDEM in Cannes, France.
Yiruma began playing the piano at the age of five and then moved to London in 1988 to study at the Purcell School of Music, where he graduated in July 1997. In June 2000, he completed a composition major at King's College London, and from 2001 onward he released a number of albums that can be categorized somewhere between the "contemporary classical" and "new age" genres. His 2001 album First Love contained the composition "River Flows in You," which subsequently became a number one hit in several countries, especially when it was briefly considered to be included on the soundtrack of the movie Twilight. Even though the producers ultimately did not use the piece, a series of YouTube videos appeared online where Yiruma's cut was put into the corresponding scene, boosting the track's popularity and resulting in it being remixed by German DJ Alex Christensen in 2010. Yiruma also composed the scores for the movie Oasis (directed by Lee Chang-dong) and the stop-motion animated film Doggy Poo (directed by Kwon Oh-sung). ~ Christian Genzel, Rovi