중앙데일리

Pianist named student youth hero

Teen prodigy won Leeds International Competition

Oct 22,2007
Pianist Kim Seon-uk has his favorite seat at the Seoul Arts Center ― seat No. 13, row 2, block C.
The 19-year-old student at Korea National University of the Arts has been called the “regular kido at the Seoul Arts Center” by musicians due to his frequent visits.
He also collects CDs of his favorite pieces and performers ― especially newly released classic recordings.
“If I start collecting all the CDs I like, my house will be all CDs,” Kim said.
When Kim was in Japan for an orchestra festival early this month he bought many CDs back to Korea.
“I am into classical music like some of my friends are into pop music,” Kim said.
The son of teachers, Kim still often had to study by himself. His parents did not push him or prod him; Kim studied on his own, which gave him better results.
Kim is the first Asian to win at the Leeds International Piano Competition in West Yorkshire, Enland.
All of his study has been in Korea, and with his emergence on the international scene, Kim is something of a hero among his peers.
Daejim Kim teaches Kim Seon-uk at Korean National University and sent the student to New York.
“Seon-uk memorized the map of New York in three months when I left him to experience loneliness and the international stage,” Daejim Kim said.
Kim Seon-uk became a regular at Carnegie Hall.
“I used to do the same in European cities when I was on performing tours,” Kim Seon-uk said.
The teen piano prodigy knows how to listen to music with the ear of a critic, because he frequented other concerts ― until his professor told him to stop listening and start practicing his own style.
Last Tuesday, Kim received the Youth Hero award from the Korea Scout Association for demonstrating the power of Korean arts to the world.
Kim received 10 million won ($10,900) for the award. Also winning a youth hero award was figure skater Kim Yu-na, who won the 2006 Grand Prix Final last year and donated 100 million won to charity.
Kim has had a busy year after winning at the Leeds competition.
His upcoming London concert debut in November is important for his career.
“I will be a performer for a long time,” said Kim, who is graduating from university next year.


By Kim Ho-jung JoongAng Ilbo [yhwang@joongang.co.kr]



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