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Posted : 2013-07-01 16:40
Updated : 2013-07-01 16:40

Young Korean pianist wins Sendai music competition

Sunwoo Ye-kwon
By Kwon Ji-youn

A 24-year-old Korean pianist won an international music competition held in Sendai, Japan, the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation (KACF) announced Sunday.

Pianist Sunwoo Ye-kwon grabbed the top prize plus 43.5 million won in the 5th Sendai International Music Competition.

Sunwoo debuted in a concert for young talent organized by the KACF in 2004. In 2009, he performed at Carnegie Hall as winner of the Florida International Piano Competition ― his New York debut.

He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently a graduate student at the Julliard School of Music, New York.

In 2012, Sunwoo was placed first in the William Kapell Piano Competition. The event is named after William Kapell, a renowned pianist.

His achievement in the Kapell competition led to his success in the Sendai event, in which he competed with 37 other talented artists in the piano section. The competition also has a section for violinists.

It is a competition that was established in 2001 to mark the 400-year history of the Sendai region. The competition is held every three years.

This year, a good number of Koreans placed in the competition. Pianist Suh Hyung-min was second after Sunwoo, and Park Sun-a placed fourth. The competition for piano was held from June 16 to June 30 at the Sendai City Youth Cultural Center.

Previous Korean winners of the competition include violinist Yang Mi-sa, who placed third in the very first competition in 2001, Lee Jin-sang, who placed second in the same competition, violinist Shin A-rah, came third in the 2007 competition and violinist Kang Ju-mi (Clara), placed first in the fourth competition held in 2010.


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