First prize-winner at last year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, South Korean pianist Yekwon Sunwoo has a wise head on him for one so young, building a busy international career with care and consideration. Stephen Wigler talks to a pianist who is devotes to learning even as he excels as a master of his instrument.
Soon after 28-year-old Yekwon Sunwoo won the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Decca Gold released a recording of his performances at the competition called Cliburn Gold, which became number one on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Album charts.
Yekwon Sunwoo talks about his career with Editor Leonne Lewis.
There's a lot more to being a Cliburn winner than the prestige that goes with the title. As in other professions, much goes on behind the scenes to ensure a long and successful career as a pianist. Beyond the prestige, cash prizes and hours of rehearsal, the medalists of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition get the opportunity to launch careers as concert pianists through concert bookings, recordings and significant media exposure via the career management prize.
We asked some of the most talented younger pianists (and one harpsichordist) to share and discuss their favorite Argerich recordings. Their answers — and the music — are below. Yekwon Sunwoo, the 28-year-old South Korean pianist who won this year’s Cliburn Competition, loved Ms. Argerich’s recording of “Gaspard de la Nuit,” but then he found a video of her playing the piece.
Yekwon Sunwoo speaks with Zach Taylor at Bryan Broadcasting in College Station, Texas ahead of his performance with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra this weekend, October 22, playing Rachmaninoff's third concerto. See more of Yekwon's schedule here.
Sunwoo’s special quality became self-evident quickly: He possesses the uncanny ability to maintain soaring lyricism, holding counterpoint and accompaniment in an exquisite balance, laying them out clearly using well-differentiated tones and colors. Such a natural inclination turned the Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2 in the second half of the program into something out of the ordinary.