Esther Goldy Roestan


Hometown: Surabaya, Indonesia

Alma maters: Oberlin Conservatory, Artist Diploma, 2019; Jacobs School of Music, B.M. in Violin Performance, 2018

Instagram: @esthergoldyroestan

Photos by Matt Dine


Awards/Competitions: Oberlin Artist Diploma Dean Scholarship, 2018–20; Runner up, Jacobs School of Music Brahms Violin Concerto Competition, Spring 2018; Jacobs School of Music Kuttner Quartet in Residence, 2017–18; Jacobs School of Music Scholarship, 2014–18; Max Reger Foundation Scholarship, 2009; Grand Prize, 2008 Patron Award Malaysian Youth Orchestra Foundation; 1st Place, 2006 Mozart National Competition, Surabaya, Indonesia

Appearances: Music Academy of the West, 2019; Madeline Island Chamber Music, Fellowship Quartet, 2017; Heifetz International Music Institute, Staunton, VA, 2012–13; Zukerman Summer Music Institute, Ottawa, 2012–13

What is your earliest memory of classical music? My first piano lesson on “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? Since I started violin, at 6 years old

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply? My friend Gaia, who’s also a TŌN violinist, said that TŌN not only has great musicians, but lovely people too! And it’s true 🙂

Who is your biggest inspiration? My family, and my teachers

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? Brahms and Mozart

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? Puccini’s La bohème. It’s just the most beautiful Romantic opera.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? It’s wonderful to be a musician, because I get to make lifelong friends. It’s almost like having a really big family.

Do you have any embarrassing performance stories? Oh yes, in this one concert, I was sitting Assistant Concertmaster, so I was all the way in the front! Unfortunately after intermission, the orchestra manager did not see that I was not back in my seat, and everyone had already tuned, and everyone was waiting for the soloist to come out . . . and I “calmly” walked out to the stage, and everyone in the audience started applauding for me because they thought I was the soloist . . . but, oops! wrong person, I was not the soloist they were waiting/applauding for. But hey, everyone got a good laugh out of that.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? It’ll all be fine

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Harp

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Either a painter, or a psychiatrist

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Bali and Santa Barbara, beautiful beaches and really good food

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? My brothers. That’s only two people, but they’re super fun and I love them! And it would be the best dinner!

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I won an indoor soccer tournament when I was 11.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Take care of yourself, don’t forget to work out, go on more outdoor adventures, and take breaks. But also practice a lot.