Korean triumphs at Leeds piano competition

Sunwook Kim, winner of the 2006 Leeds International Piano Competition

Thanks to Aidan Foster-Carter for the following:

It was a notable night for Korea at the finals of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition 2006.

Held triennially, this is one of the world’s leading prizes. Past winners include Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Alexeev, and Artur Pizarro.

To those illustrious names, add Sunwook Kim (above): at 18 the youngest ever winner. You can hear his winning rendition of Brahms’ first piano concerto in D minor online for the next few days on the BBC’s site here. (Kim’s performance is 90 minutes into the programme – Ed)

Nor is this all. Another Korean, Sung-Hoon Kim, placed fifth with Mozart’s C minor concerto (K491).

Past Leeds finalists include Myung-whun Chung: joint fourth in 1975, when Mitsuko Uchida came second and Andras Schiff third. In 1984 Ju Hee Suh came second, while Haesun Paik placed fifth in 1990.

The festival was held 6 – 24 September 2006. Congratulations to both Kims.

The full list of finalists was:

1st prize, The Princess Mary Gold medal and £12,000:
Sunwook KIM, 18; from Seoul, Republic of Korea.

2nd prize: Silver medal and £10,000:
Andrew BROWNELL, 27, from Portland Oregon, USA who also won the Benjamin Britten special prize.

3rd prize: Bronze medal and £6,000 (The Geoffrey de Keyser award): Denis KOZHUKHIN, 20; from Nizhny Novgord, Russia.

4th prize: £3,500:
Siheng SONG, 24; From Shanghai, China.

5th prize: £3,000:
Sung-Hoon KIM, 28; from Seoul, Korea.

6th prize: £2,500:
Grace FONG, aged 27; from Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

A follow-up article in the Chosun is here.

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