The RNCM is delighted to announce that South Korean pianist JaeKyung Yoo has won Second Prize in the 6th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, which took place in the Tempe, Arizona, between January 6 and 13.
JaeKyung, who is currently studying for an International Artist Diploma (the highest award the RNCM offers for solo performance) with Graham Scott, was one of 28 pianists to be selected from 146 applications. She impressed judges, including world-renowned pianists Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan, with her Final Round performance of Brahms’ Concerto No 2 in B flat major Op 83 alongside the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.
Speaking of the competition, JaeKyung, who won $10,000, the Silver Medal and the $1000 prize for the most outstanding performance of a virtuoso work, said: ‘This particular competition was special because the legendary pianist Martha Argerich was on the jury, and what made it even more memorable was that she gave me complements on my First Round performance of Ravel’s Scarbo. Argerich’s recording of Scarbo has been my favourite since I was little, so I was incredibly happy to hear her comments.’
She adds: ‘I enjoyed the experience of performing on stage at every round, and winning the prize was a reaffirmation of the fact that I love performing, which is what I hope I'll continue doing. I also feel thankful for everybody who has been supportive, especially my tutor at the RNCM, Graham Scott.’
The Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition is an annual competition hosted by the ASU School of Music in collaboration with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Young Artist Committee, Bösendorfer, Yamaha, and the Arizona Piano Gallery. First Prize was awarded to the USA’s Eric Zuber, a graduate of the Juilliard School, and Third Prize went to fellow American Lindsay Garritson, a graduate of Yale University.