S. Korean Lim Yun-chan becomes youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Updated: 2022-06-20 13:08:14 KST
South Korea's Lim Yun-chan has become the youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
On top of winning gold on Saturday, the 18-year old also clinched the audience award and the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for Best Performance of a New Work.
Lim was one of the six finalists who performed at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Texas.
For his final round, he played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3 in C Minor and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor.
His performance mesmerized not only the audience, but also left Jury Chair and conductor Marin Alsop in tears.
Alsop said Lim showed (quote) "exceptional musicality, artistry, and dazzling technique".
After the award ceremony, Lim said he was happy to connect with the audience.
"If my sincerity while playing the music reached the audience, I think I'm satisfied."
Lim's win comes with a cash prize of 1-hundred-thousand U.S. dollars and three years of international concert tours and career management.
But he is not the first South Korean to clinch the Van Cliburn.
Pianist Sunwoo Yekwon who was 27 at the time, won gold in the previous competition in 2017.
And with a number of South Koreans now sweeping top prizes at prestigious competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, experts say more will come.
"It is not an exaggeration to say that nowadays, almost all South Korean classical artists are preparing for international competitions.
As these challenges are now bearing fruit, I think more accomplishments will come and more Korean musicians will rise to international stardom."
First held in 1962, the Van Cliburn competition is held every four years and is known as the "Olympics of Piano".
This year, four South Koreans qualified for the semis, but Lim only made it to the finals.
Another South Korean, Shin Chang-yong also won the jury discretionary award.
Song Yoo-jin, Arirang News.