Congratulations to Chloe Mun for winning the 2015 Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition, held in Bolzano. The Grand Final was held on 4 September. Minsoo Hong won fourth prize in the competition, while Kim Jong-yun was awarded a special prize for the best interpretation of a work by Ferruccio Busoni.
The overall winner of the Geneva Competition (unanimously awarded First Prize) and the Busoni Competition (first Asian pianist to win First Prize since it began in 1949), Jiyeong Mun – known in the music world as Chloe Mun – seems to be following in the footsteps of Martha Argerich, who won both awards in 1957, launching a brilliant international career. Thanks to her absolutely genuine and natural approach to the instrument, the young South Korean pianist, who was born in 1995, has earned the appreciation of the public and prestigious international juries alike in recent years. Jörg Demus, president of the 60th International Busoni Competition jury, said about her: “I have rediscovered in her a naturalness of musicality that I thought had disappeared.”
Chloe Mun began studying piano at the age of five. Raised under disadvantaged conditions, since both parents are disabled and receive only a state subsidy, she began studying the instrument at her own initiative. Because she did not have a piano at home in the early years, she practiced either at school or in a neighborhood church for several hours a day. Despite her family’s economic hardships she soon decided that she wanted to take her piano career seriously, refusing to be discouraged by anything that stood in the way of bringing her dream to fruition. In fact, she discontinued traditional schooling in order to spend more time at the piano and subsequently graduated on her own – well ahead of her peers. In 2012 she won Germany’s Ettlingen International Youth Music Award Competition, selected for her “amazing musical imagination, so rich and full for a seventeen year old.” In 2009 she won First Prize in her category at the Art Dream Competition organized by the Korean Business Council, which allows people in the lower echelons of society access to higher artistic education. It was on that occasion that she met her teacher, Daejin Kim, who has since been her teacher and mentor. She is currently studying at the Korean National University.
She won several competitions between 2009 and 2013, including the Rubinstein in Memoriam International Piano Competition in Poland and the Takamatsu International Competition in Japan; she also won prestigious scholarships from foundations such as the Daewon Foundation for Culture and the Dorean Foundation. Considered in Korea to be one of the most talented pianists of her generation, she has performed throughout South Korea and Japan; in Europe, she has appeared in recitals and concerts with orchestras in Germany, France, Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic.
Here she is in the solo final, held on 30 August. Her recital programme was
J. Haydn – Sonata in do magg (C-Dur) Hob. XVI / 48
B. Sørensen – Und Die Sonne geht auf
Bach/Busoni – Preludio, Fuga, Allegro BWV 998
R. Schumann – Sonata n. 1 op. 11