The 18-year-old pianist from South Korea wins the Van Cliburn Competition

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old from South Korea has won the 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, one of the most important events for the world’s top pianists.

The competition in Fort Worth, Texas concluded Saturday night with Yunchan Lim becoming the youngest-ever gold medalist at the competition. His winnings include a $100,000 cash award and three years of career management.

Silver medalist was Anna Geniushene, a 31-year-old from Russia, and bronze medalist is Dmytro Choni, a 28-year-old from Ukraine.

Lim told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he will discuss with his teacher what the next step in his career should be.


“I’m still a student and I feel like I still have a lot to learn,” Lim said. “This is a great competition and I feel a burden to receive this great honor and award, so I’ll just make an effort, the honor to live up to what I received today.”

The competition was established in 1962 in honor of celebrated pianist Van Cliburn, who lived in Fort Worth. Cliburn, who died in 2013 at the age of 78, has played for US presidents, kings and heads of state around the world. He is best remembered for winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War.

The competition traditionally takes place every four years. This year’s competition was originally scheduled for last year but was postponed due to the pandemic.

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