For 17 days, the younger artists competed in what some have referred to as the Olympics of piano-playing: the Van Cliburn Worldwide Piano Competitors in Texas, one among classical music’s most prestigious contests.
On Saturday, the outcomes had been in: Pianists from South Korea, Russia and Ukraine prevailed on this yr’s contest.
Among the many winners are Yunchan Lim, 18, from Siheung, South Korea, who grew to become the youngest gold medalist within the Cliburn’s historical past, successful a money award of $100,000; Anna Geniushene, 31, who was born in Moscow, taking the silver medal (and $50,000); and Dmytro Choni, 28, of Kyiv, successful the bronze medal ($25,000).
“I used to be so drained,” Lim, who performed concertos by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff within the closing spherical, stated in a phone interview. “I practiced till 4 a.m. day-after-day.”
“Texas audiences are probably the most passionate on the planet,” he added.
The battle in Ukraine loomed over this yr’s contest, which started in early June with 30 rivals from world wide, together with six from Russia, two from Belarus and one from Ukraine.
The Cliburn, held each 4 years in Fort Value, had drawn criticism in some quarters for permitting Russians to compete. The choice got here as cultural establishments in the USA had been going through strain to chop ties with Russian artists amid the invasion.
The Cliburn stood by its determination, citing the legacy of Van Cliburn, an American whose victory on the Worldwide Tchaikovsky Competitors in Moscow in 1958, in the course of the Chilly Warfare, was seen as an indication that artwork might transcend politics.
Choni, the Ukrainian competitor, stated he felt proud to symbolize his nation on the competitors. He stated he virtually cried at the start of the awards ceremony on Saturday, when a earlier winner of the Cliburn, Vadym Kholodenko, who can be from Ukraine, performed the Ukrainian nationwide anthem.
“It was so touching,” Choni stated in a phone interview. “The scenario proper now has most likely put some further strain on me, nevertheless it’s simply an honor for me to be right here.”
Geniushene, the Russian pianist, who left Russia for Lithuania after the invasion and has been vital of the battle, stated she felt uplifted to see a mixture of nations represented among the many winners.
“It’s an enormous achievement,” she stated in a phone interview. “All of us need to be on the stage.”