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Yunchan Lim (임윤찬)

Yunchan Lim was born on March 20, 2004 and is a pianist from Siheung, South Korea. In June 2022, he was the youngest ever to win the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas where he also took two special prizes.

“In fact, Lim had garnered the most attention of the 12 contestants in the semifinals, when he performed the Transcendental Études by Liszt, a diabolically demanding cycle that’s considered one the most technically demanding in the repertory. They even seemed to stump Schumann, the famous composer, who wryly observed that the only person capable of producing a decent rendition was Liszt himself.

“Nevertheless, Lim powered through all 12 pieces in the 65-minute cycle without a single break.

“‘Liszt spent his entire life writing those pieces. I thought that by performing them all at once, I could give proper expression to his life as a composer,’ the pianist said when asked why he’d performed all 12 pieces without an intermission in a solo recital in October 2021.” 

From Hani.co.kr

What has Lim to say about his career ahead?

“You know, I personally think winning a renowned competition is not a great achievement,” said Lim. “I’ve put a lot of thought into what I can do as a pianist, and what would be a great achievement for me as a pianist. For me, a great achievement is to visit many places, like hospitals, nursing homes and orphanages, to perform for those who have a lack of opportunities to listen to a great piano performance. I don’t want them to buy tickets to come and see me in fancy venues. I should be the one who is there to perform for them. I think being able to do that as much as possible is the greatest achievement for a pianist. I will do my best to achieve that.” 

From article: “Yunchan Lim has no plans to conform after Van Cliburn International Piano Competition win”

Ben Laude at Tonebase Piano tells the story of Liszt’s “Feux follets” via Yunchan Lim’s remarkable performance from the 2022 Cliburn Competition Semifinals.