Yekwon Sunwoo Wins Van Cliburn Piano Competition, to Play Concert July 22

Yekwon Sunwoo Wins Van Cliburn Piano Competition, to Play Concert July 22

A panel of international judges awarded Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, of South Korea the Gold Medal at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Forth Worth, Texas last month. The top prize, which includes $50,000 and three years of career management, concert tours and recordings, is among the most coveted prize in the United States.

Now the young man, the first South Korean to win the Gold, makes his way to the Spencer for performance on the Steinway Grand Saturday, July 22 at 8 p.m. His concert program is:

Schubert Sonata in C Minor D. 958

- intermission -

Grainger "Ramble on the last Love-duet"

from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier

Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 36 (1931)

Ravel La Valse.

With divine acoustics and true surround sound, the immediacy of his talent can be experienced up close and personal at the Spencer! As Sunwoo trills the 88 keys, close video screening of his hands at work will be projected above the stage as. Excellent seats ($39-$59) are available for this night of piano magic. Call the Spencer at 575.336.4800 or visit for tickets and information.

Sunwoo was one of six finalists performing gruelling competition, a challenge that actually began last October with 200 pianists between the ages of 18 and 30.

Considered the Olympics of the piano world, The Cliburn, held every four years in Fort Worth, was founded in 1962 by Van Cliburn, the American pianist who stunned the world by winning the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.

According to press accounts of the 2017 Van Cliburn competition, Sunwoo demonstrated "a real, if not reliably mature, musical personality" above the other finalists in performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. first with a string quartet and then with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

Sunwoo made his recital and orchestral debuts in 2004 in Seoul, before moving to the United States to earn his bachelor's degree at the Curtis Institute of Music and his master's at The Juilliard School. Career highlights include performances with the Juilliard Orchestra under Itzhak Perlman at Avery Fisher Hall, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, and the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals at Carnegie Hall, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, Wigmore Hall in London, and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul.

Two Americans - Kenneth Broberg, 23, from Minneapolis, and Daniel Hsu, 19, of San Francisco - finished in second and third place.

Mr. Sunwoo's concert at the Spencer is sponsored in-part by Lynda & Grady Shropshire.

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