Yunchan Lim wins Van Cliburn International Piano Competition 2022
The 18-year-old South Korean triumphed in the Texas-based competition's 16th edition to take home the top $100,000 prize
Yunchan Lim was named the winner of the 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas at the weekend. The 18-year-old pianist triumphed in performances of Beethoven's and Rachmaninov's third piano concertos to take the competition's Gold Medal, worth $100,000.
The $50,000 Silver Medal went to 31-year-old Russian Anna Geniushene, while the $25,000 bronze medal was awarded to 28-year-old Dmytro Choni from Ukraine.
The final featured six competitors, hailing from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, South Korea and the United States, whittled down from 30 competitors selected from 388 applicants to compete in live rounds in Texas. In the Final, each pianist performed two piano concertos with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, who also served as Jury Chair this year.
Winner of second prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists in 2018, Yunchan Lim was the youngest winner of Korea’s IsangYun International Competition at the age of 15 in 2019. He is currently a student at the Korea National University of Arts under Minsoo Sohn.
Earlier this year the quadrennial Van Cliburn competition announced that it would welcome participants from Russia, despite the country's military action in Ukraine.
In a statement, Jacques Marquis, president and CEO of the competition said: 'The Cliburn must and will remain true to its mission as an artist-supporting cultural institution, and we are dedicated to the power of this artform to transcend boundaries. We make no distinction between non-political artists based on their nationality, gender, or ethnicity. We stand firmly with the music community around the globe in its commitment to these ideals. The hearts of the people of the Cliburn are with the valiant Ukrainians as they courageously defend their homeland from the Russian regime. What is happening goes against everything that humankind should stand for.'
In recent months two major piano competitions – the Honens International Piano Competition in Canada and the Dublin International Piano Competition – have announced that they will not be open to Russian pianists this year. The Honens, however, subsequently reinstated its Russian competitors following protests from the global music community and a petition from leading musicians against the 'blanket boycott' of Russian artists.
Sitting on the jury of this year's Cliburn were conductor Marin Alsop, and pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Alessio Bax, Rico Gulda, Andreas Haefliger, Wu Han, Stephen Hough, Anne-Marie McDermott, Orli Shaham and Lilya Zilberstein.
Photo: Yunchan Lim performs in the Final of the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition