About this Artist
“I made up my mind that I will live my life only for the sake of music, and I decided that I will give up everything for music… I want my music to become deeper, and if that desire reaches the audience, I’m satisfied.” – Yunchan Lim
Since becoming the youngest person to ever win gold at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at the age of 18 in 2022, Yunchan Lim’s ascent to international stardom has been meteoric. His performances showcase a “magical ability” and a “natural, instinctive quality” (La Scena) that astounds listeners around the world. Marin Alsop, who conducted the 2022 Cliburn Final said, “Yunchan is that rare artist who brings profound musicality and prodigious technique organically together.”
His audacious performance of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes “created a buzz throughout the international piano community” (Gramophone), and his appearance with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 delivered the defining moment of competition, as one critic noted: “The applause that followed was endless: a star had emerged before our eyes” (Seen and Heard International). The video of Yunchan’s Rachmaninov performance trended globally on YouTube in the days after and has now become the most-watched version of that piece on the platform, amassing well over 10 million views. The New York Times later listed it as one of the Top 10 Classical Music Performances of 2022.
In the year following his Cliburn win, Yunchan made successful orchestral debuts with the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center, and Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as Chicago Symphony, Lucerne Symphony, KBS Symphony, and Tokyo Symphony orchestras, among others; and recital debuts at the Wigmore Hall, Het Concertgebouw, Suntory Hall, and Seoul Arts Center.
His 23/24 season highlights include orchestral debuts with the Royal Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic,
Hungarian Radio Symphony, Boston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Sendai Philharmonic orchestras, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, and Orchestre de Paris. Recital highlights include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Verbier Festival, Gstaad Festival, and Società dei Concerti di Milano among other major stages.
Yunchan Lim is an exclusive Decca Classics artist. In April 2024, Yunchan releases his debut studio album, Chopin Études Opp.10 & 25, worldwide on Decca Classics. His previous releases include his Billboard charting Van Cliburn performance of Liszt’s Transcendental Études (Steinway & Sons, 2023); Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” (Deutsche Grammophon, 2022); and is featured on KBS’s 2020 Young Musicians of Korea album, performing a selection of works by Beethoven and Liszt. Yunchan was named an Apple Music Classical Global Ambassador in January 2024.
Born in Siheung, Korea, Yunchan Lim began piano lessons at age 7. He entered the Music Academy of the Seoul Arts Center the next year, and quickly became immersed in his musical studies. He auditioned for and was accepted into the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts at age 13, where he met his teacher and mentor, Minsoo Sohn. A year later, in 2018, he captured international attention when he won both Second Prize and the Chopin Special Award in his first competition: the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists. That same year, he won both the Third and Audience prizes at the Cooper International Competition, which also provided him the opportunity to perform with The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2029, aged only 15, he became the youngest person to win Korea’s IsangYun International Competition, where he also took home two special prizes.
Following two years at the Korea National University of Arts, Yunchan is currently studying at the New England Conservatoire in Boston with his teacher Minsoo Sohn.