Praised by his examiner for “the soft caressing touches in quiet passages and his total command over the instrument and the expressiveness,” pianist Yekwon Sunwoo won 1st prize at the 2015 International German Piano Award Competition in Frankfurt and 1st prize at the 2014 Vendôme Competition held at the prestigious Verbier Festival. In addition, he won 1st prize at the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition, 1st prize and Audience Award at the 2012 Piano Campus International Concours in France, 1st prize at the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition (including Audience and Chamber Awards), prize-winner at the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition and 1st prize at the 2009 Interlaken Classics Competition in Switzerland.
Sunwoo has performed extensively as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Juilliard Orchestra under Itzhak Perlman at Avery Fisher Hall, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, the Orchestre National de Belgique at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie.
In the past, Sunwoo’s recital appearances include performances at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, Wigmore Hall in London, Radio France and the Salle Cortot in Paris and the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. He has been featured on WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase and given numerous recitals throughout Germany, Switzerland, Prague and Morocco. Sunwoo’s wide chamber music experience includes an invitation from the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation to tour to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. He has performed for the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center’s Inside Chamber Music Lectures and has collaborated with Ida Kavafian and Peter Wiley on Curtis on Tour and with Roberto Diaz on the Bay Chamber Concerts. He has also performed with the Jerusalem Quartet, Gary Hoffman, Anne-Marie McDermott and Michael Tree. He has been invited to perform at various chamber music festivals such as the Summit Music Festival, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival, Music from Angel Fire and Chamber Music Northwest.
Born in 1989 in Anyang, South Korea, Sunwoo previously studied under Min-ja Shin and Sun-wha Kim in Korea. From 2005, he studied under Seymour Lipkin at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he received the Rachmaninoff Prize in Piano. He later studied under Robert McDonald and earned his Master’s degree at the Juilliard School, where he won the Munz Scholarship Competition and received the Arthur Rubinstein Prize. He currently works with Richard Goode at Mannes College the New School for Music.
Sunwoo recorded his first solo album on the Fontec label in 2014, and it features Der Wanderer fantasy by Schubert, selections from Zwölf Lieder von Schubert by Liszt, Sonata No 2 (1931 version) by Rachmaninoff and La Valse by Ravel. He is represented by MOC Production in Korea.