【4th Prize Winner : Jiyoung Kim】The 4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

2023.11.30153 views

The '4th Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition,' held from July 29 to August 6, showcased remarkable talents. In this article, we trace the journey of one of the six finalists, Jiyoung Kim, through performance videos and an exclusive interview.

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Program

1st Round
F. Mendelssohn / Confidence in A major from "Lieder ohne Worte Book 1 Op.19"
S. Barber / Piano Sonate Op.26

 

Semifinal Round
F.J. Haydn / Piano Sonata in D major Hob.XVI:42
A. Scriabin / 12 Etudes Op.8

 

Final Round
L.v. Beethoven / Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.4 in G major Op.58

 

Interview

After the Semifinal Performance

Please share your thoughts right after finishing the semifinal round.

Right now, I truly feel a sense of liberation. Playing Scriabin's Etudes always puts me in this kind of mood.

How did you choose the repertoire for the first round, semifinals, and finals?

Well, I chose the program with the desire to showcase 'all of me' through the performance. The Mendelssohn piece in the first round is a personal favorite of mine, and I included it as a warm and welcoming piece for everyone. Then, I chose Barber's piece, which allows for a diverse range of tonal colors and lets me "captivate" the audience with its versatility. Those were my two selections for the first round.
And for the semifinal round, Haydn is one of my favorite pieces, and I consider it a kind of "self-introduction" where I can show my gentler side. As for Scriabin's Etudes, I think it highlights the drama of my life, my personality, and showcases my ability to captivate the audience.
In the final round, I chose a piece with the theme of "love." It's a beautiful composition that embraces both the audience and the fleeting moments of life, and that's why I selected it.

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 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

After the Announcement of the Finalists

Congratulations on making it to the finals! Can you please share your thoughts right now?

First of all, I'm very happy to have become a finalist! I'm really looking forward to performing in the final round. I need to practice even more.

 

After the Final Performance

Please share your current feelings.

I'm feeling a great sense of relief right now. The two days between the semifinals and the final felt twice as long due to the intense nerves and the challenge of maintaining focus. Now that the final is over, I'm truly happy.

How was the "Concerto for Two Pianos," which is a distinctive feature of this competition?

In general, final performances often involve collaboration with an orchestra, but this time, the opportunity to collaborate with a piano is truly precious. It was a collaboration with Professor Pisarev, and his accompaniment was beyond perfection—each moment of the performance was executed flawlessly to the point that calling it 'accompaniment' seems almost inappropriate. I am truly grateful to Professor Pisarev, and it is genuinely, genuinely an honor to have had the opportunity to perform together.

The venue changed from the first round to the semifinals. Did you feel any differences?

The venue and location changed from before, so I was truly nervous. In the first and semifinal rounds, it was a small but lovely hall, allowing me to feel a sense of unity with the audience and the piano. In today's final hall, the resonance was even more magnificent than in previous rounds, making the piano and sound feel larger. I felt even more like a "solo" performer. The sound resonated so loudly that it gave the illusion of performing with an orchestra.

Lastly, can you share a message for the audience who attended this competition or watched the livestream?

I believe I gave it my best. I would be truly happy if everyone who listened enjoyed it! Thank you very much.

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 ©Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

 

Before the Prize Winner’s Concert

A day after receiving the award, please share your thoughts.

I'm really relieved now that everything is over. I gained a lot of learning experiences through this competition.

How was the Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition?

I usually practice on a Shigeru Kawai piano in Munich, and I had the opportunity to play on a Shigeru Kawai in all rounds this time. It was truly enjoyable. During the competition, I was able to immerse myself in the music and revel in it. Moreover, it was my first time in Tokyo, and I found it to be a truly fantastic place. The cityscape is beautiful, and the Japanese food is delicious—I especially enjoyed eating tonkatsu every day!

Can you share your impressions of the SK-EX piano, your first encounter, memories of playing it for the first time, and its tone, etc.?

I truly believe that the SK-EX is well-balanced in every aspect, such as touch sensitivity. Regarding the sound, the piano responded to every nuance I wanted to express, from bright and sparkling tones to darker ones. I feel that it is a truly remarkable piano in those respects. The tone is warm, and playing it was really pleasant.

Jiyoung-KIM_a

 

About Jiyoung Kim

Born in 1996 in Korea.

- International Maj Lind Piano Competition 2017 (Helsinki, Finland) – 3nd Prize
- The 4th Tallinn International Piano Competition (Tallinn, Estonia) - Laureate, Eesti Kontsert Award
- Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb (Berlin, Germany) – 2nd Prize
- München Steinway Competition 2022 (Munich, Germany) - 2nd Prize
- Jacob Flier International Piano Competition 2022 (New Paltz, USA) 1st Prize

Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@jiyoungkim5039/community

Writer

Kawai Japan (Domestic division)

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

This article has been translated from a piece published on the Kawai Japan website.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927,
renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

Kawai is a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer founded in 1927, renowned for its acclaimed acoustic and digital pianos.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world.
Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists,
and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections."
This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments
and promoting music appreciation.

For almost 100 years, Kawai has delivered thousands of pianos to musicians around the world. Kawai instruments are highly regarded and cherished by many pianists, and frequently selected in international competitions and concerts.
The company's vision is to "share the joy of music and create emotional connections." This heartfelt desire stems from Kawai’s long history of crafting musical instruments and promoting music appreciation.

Kawai company information