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Korean pianist wins top North American prize

June 12,2017
Pianist Sunwoo Ye-kwon, center, after taking home the coveted gold medal in the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held yesterday. American pianists Kenneth Broberg, left, and Daniel Hsu, right, took home the silver and bronze medals, respectively. [YONHAP]
Pianist Sunwoo Ye-kwon took home the gold medal at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held in Fort Worth, Texas, early yesterday, a first for a Korean.

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world, and the most coveted in North America.

The pianist played Antonin Dvorak’s “Piano Quintet in A Major” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor” and received the highest score of the six finalists.

As for additional prizes, Sunwoo will receive $50,000 in prize money, three years of personal management and an opportunity to hold a country-wide tour in the United States.

Artists who have won this event previously are often regarded as the finest in the business.

This isn’t the first time Sunwoo took the grand prize home in an international piano competition. He also won many other competitions and currently has the most international piano competition accolades among Koreans.

BY KIM JUNG-KYOON [kim.jungkyoon@joongang.co.kr]