Yekwon Sunwoo, a 28-year-old pianist from South Korea, took the gold medal at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this weekend in Fort Worth.
Sunwoo said winning took physical and emotional endurance. For the last two-and-a-half weeks, he had to give new performances nearly every other day. He wanted to make each one count.
“There’s no one way, or no perfection, so that you keep on trying to make the ideal music by really expressing every single detail that you want to do,” he said. “So every time you feel that you could have done better.”
Two Americans, Kenneth Broberg and Daniel Hsu, won silver and bronze medals respectively.
Sunwoo takes home $50,000 and three years of international bookings.
Broberg and Hsu also win cash, as well as 3 years of concerts in the U.S.