Yonhap Interview: Award-winning pianist Sunwoo Yekwon dreams of conveying true emotions
Yonhap News Agency
Award-winning pianist Sunwoo Yekwon dreams of conveying true emotions
By Kim Boram
“About three or four years ago, something different came into my mind,” he said. “I started to look for contests that guarantee their winners musical activities as performers. I wanted to grab such opportunities.”
His aim was achieved by winning the gold medal at the Van Cliburn competition in 2017, which gave him a chance to perform world tour concerts and recitals for three years as well as to win substantial cash prizes.
He was the first South Korean pianist to win the Texas-based quadrennial contest, named after renowned U.S. pianist Van Cliburn and first held in 1962, and became one of the most sought-after pianists in Korea.
“Since I first started to learn piano when I was eight years old, I’ve just wanted to read the music and play the piano well,” he said. “And as time went by, I’m trying to focus on the sound itself and catch emotions that the music has and seek ways to convey the feeling through my play.”
He said he loves the moment when the pianist and the audience share the same feeling and emotion during a performance. He felt that very state at his latest recital in Guri, east of Seoul, on Sunday.
“The atmosphere or vibe at a hall differs every time I perform. At the Guri performance, in particular, it helped me focus more on music and playing,” the pianist said. “The audience was well absorbed in music, and I was too. That was a rare experience.”
Read the full interview here.