Born in Seoul, South Korea, Donghoon Shin studied composition at Seoul National University with Sukhi Kang, then with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also attended masterclasses of Unsuk Chin, Tristan Murail, York Höller, Pascal Dusapin and Johannes Schöllhorn.
In 2010, with his violin concerto Kalon, he won the ANM-BBVA International composition competition organized by the ministry of culture of Spain, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and Spanish National Orchestra. Kalon was premiered in the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid by Anne Mercier under the baton of Nacho de Paz, and repeatedly performed by the Spanish National Orchestra in 2011-2012 by Leticia Moreno and Josep Pons. In 2012, his orchestral piece Pop-up was commissioned by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Maestro Péter Eötvös. In 2013, with High Heels, Not Even Anything Room for 10 instruments, he won 'Goethe Award' by Goethe Institute and Tongyeong International Music Festival.
Recently his new large ensemble piece Yo was commissioned by Unsuk Chin and Festival d'Automne à Paris 2015 and the piece was premiered by the Ensemble InterContemporain and conducted by Tito Ceccherini in Paris on 27 November 2015 as well as being broadcast on Radio France Musique.
His music has also been performed and commissioned by prominent ensembles and festivals such as Ensemble Recherche, Tong-young International Music Festival, TIMF Ensemble, Exaudi Ensemble, Plus-Minus ensemble and Nas duo. He has recently received a 10-minute commission from the London Symphony Orchestra through the Panufnik Scheme 2016. He is also one of the winners of the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize.