Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When the other boys in seven-year-old Yunchan Lim’s apartment complex were taking taekwondo, bored, he begged his parents to let him try out for a “musical talent academy” in his hometown of Seoul, South Korea.  He had not had any piano instruction at that time.

Yunchan Lim, piano 2022 Gold Van Cliburn Winner. Courtesy photo

Eleven years later, the now 18-year-old was declared the Gold Medal winner of the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Salida Aspen Concerts (SAC) will present this incredible talent in Salida for a solo piano recital on Saturday, July 30. Doors open at 6:30, p.m., pre-concert talk is at 6:45 p.m., and the performance is at 7:30 p.m. in the Salida High School auditorium.

This will be the fourth concert in the Salida Aspen Concert 2022 summer series, presented in association with the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Despite getting started much later on piano instruction than the typical piano prodigy, Lim began receiving recognition for his musical gifts at age 11.  At age 14 he took second in the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition.

Coming from a non-musical family, he is solely Korea-trained.  His piano teacher dubbed him a “time traveler”; stating that “his immersion in music reminds me of someone living in the 18th or 19th century.” He practiced 12 hours per day while at the Cliburn competition which began June 2 and ended with the final found and ultimate selection of him as the Gold Medal winner on June 17.

Held only once every four years in Ft. Worth, Texas, this year’s competition had 388 pianists from 51 countries applying to compete. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra said that “[The Cliburn] is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious classical music competitions and that it attracts the highest levels of talent from everywhere”;  “… a competition that is unparalleled in terms of the requirements from the contestants.”

Only 30 of the 388 applicants passed the Preliminary Round to enter the main competition; 18 were selected for the Quarter-Final Round; 12 made it to the Semifinal Round, and six competitors were selected for the Final Round. They included two Russians, one Canadian, one Ukrainian, one American, and from South Korea –  Yunchan Lim, who was declared the Gold Medal winner.  He is the youngest winner in the history of the competition which was first held in 1962. Salida Aspen Concerts is extremely proud to present this outstanding performer in concert.

Tickets for this performance are $40 for adults. While SAC performances typically offer the ability to purchase tickets at the door, it is highly recommended that in order to avoid disappointment in what will likely be a sold-out performance that tickets be purchased ASAP online here.

As with all of the Salida Aspen Concert performances,  free admission is offered to all K-12 students, with half-price tickets available for accompanying adults. Because tickets are going fast for this performance, those wishing to bring a student and purchase their half-priced adult ticket are encouraged to contact the box office in order to secure their tickets promptly.

Featured image: Pianist Yunchan Lim. Courtesy photo