Sendai International Music Competition

Interview with Mr. Sunwoo Yekwon (5th SIMC Piano Section 1st Prizewinner) | Sendai International Music Competition Official Website


Interview with Mr. Sunwoo Yekwon,
1st Prizewinner of the Piano Section at the 5th SIMC

interviewed : 20181012

Your last visit to Sendai was for the “Concert leading up to the 6th SIMC” held in March 2016. And we believe your visit this time marks your 8th visit. Is there anything special that you are looking forward to do or to enjoy in Sendai?

I have such dear memory of Sendai right from the beginning when I first went to Sendai in 2013 and many more for the next visits. Not only the friendly and supportive Sendai International Music Competition staff members, but everyone I met have been just lovely and I still remember going to this arcade area called ‘Eden’ quite a few times and many others. I just cannot wait to reunite with some of my dear friends in Sendai and the audience members!

Please tell us about your recent performance activities. Memorable performances you have recently given, the performance opportunities you are looking forward to…

At the 2017 Cliburn Competition, I played Dvorak piano quintet with the Brentano String Quartet and we just played our second concert a few weeks ago. Often times I am traveling by myself and it was a delight to reunite with the quartet to share the stage with and have beautiful moments of spontaneous music making. I am currently in the US for concert tour, but I go to Korea next week to play this piano quintet with the New York Philharmonic Quartet which I am very much looking forward to. Also, I am performing Prokofiev 3rd concerto with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gergiev. It is my first time working with him and we will be playing two concerts in Korea in November. Every second of music making is very special, so it is difficult to name just a few performances…

Mr. Sunwoo Yekwon

Do you have any hobbies or what is your favorite pastime, favorite foods, etc. besides the music?

To be honest, my favorite pastime is just being lazy and boring not doing anything. But, I do enjoy going out with friends, so whenever I have some time off, I try to explore good restaurants around or bars around. Being an Asian, I am particularly fond of Asian cuisine and some good Sake!

Your recital in Sendai is the last one on your Japan tour this time. Please tell us about your future performance plans after Sendai.

After the recital tour in Japan, I actually have another concert with the Brentano String Quartet on my birthday in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. I was just there a few weeks ago for a recital and I unfortunately did not get to enjoy the beach during the day time. I walked around in the evening which was amazing and soothing, but I am looking forward to absorb more what the nature has to offer. Then, I go to Hong Kong for the first time to perform for the Hong Kong Arts Festival, then I go to Italy, and Germany and the U.S. for concerto appearances with Beethoven concerto No.4, Tchaikovsky concerto No.1, and Rachmaninoff concerto No.3 among others.