Seokyoung Hong 홍석영 Plays Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Wins 1st Prize at Piano Competition

Seokyoung Hong 홍석영 Plays Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43 with Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Cliburn Intl Junior Piano Competition winners 2023. Music Press Asia

Supported by Texas Ballet Theater made possible by a generous grant from Anne T. & Robert M. Bass.

SEOKYOUNG HONG 홍석영 from South Korea turns 15 this year. He is also the Bernice Gressman Meyerson first prize winner at the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition & Festival this year.

The video below shows the LIVE performance of the 2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival.

The final round went LIVE on a Saturday last week (June 17) at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas USA. Accompanying Hong is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton conductor, Valentina Peleggi. He performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43.

Cliburn Junior Piano competition 2023. Music Press Asia
[The winner at The Cliburn International Junior Piano competition 2023 has been announced. Music Press Asia]

The piano competition also awarded Yifan Wu (14) from China receive the Shirley Cox McIntyre Second Prize and Jan Schulmeister (16) from Czechia receive The Horchow Family Third Prize.

Each finalist will also receive $2,500 in scholarships that must be spent toward furthering their musical advancement.

cash award of $500
Seokyoung Hong 홍석영, 15, South Korea

cash awards of $2,500 each
Zihan Jin 金子涵, 14, China
Modan Oyama 大山桃暖, 17, Japan
Zhonghua Wei 魏中华, 14, China

Yunchan Lim 임윤찬 was the first prize winner last year. He played RACHMANINOV’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, op. 30.

About Seokyoung Hong

“I hope to be a pianist that can remind and somehow transfer the audience’s own personal stories. From those reminded experiences, I hope they find happiness, relief, and even nostalgia. Beyond thinking about the stories from the past, I also hope they can imagine lots of things while and after listening to my performance.”

Seokyoung Hong has had several first or second-place finishes at international competitions in Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. Following two years at the Yewon School in his native Seoul, he moved to Boston in 2022 to study piano at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School with HaeSun Paik while also attending the Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

He’s found himself inspired by his new environment: “Nature inspires me in various ways—its huge size, marvelous detail, the beauty of nature itself, and a lot more. For instance, the enormous entities like the ocean and the universe motivate me but also make me feel that I am only a small human.”

Seokyoung finds inspiration and motivation from the two most recent winners of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, South Korea’s Yekwon Sunwoo and Yunchan Lim, which was part of his motivation for taking part in the Cliburn Junior.

He also hopes to develop his piano playing and artistry, as well as to build experience performing for large audiences. His interest in composing leads him to constantly study, he says, but he also enjoys riding his bike, playing chess, and participating in the table tennis club at school.

Learn more about Texas Ballet Theater:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *