Speaking at a press conference, Yunchan said: “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 wanted my music to become deeper, and if that desire reached the audience, I’m satisfied.”

In June 2022, Yunchan Lim became the youngest person ever to win gold at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at the age of 18; his performances throughout showcased a “magical ability” and a “natural, instinctive quality” (La Scena) that astounded listeners around the world. Marin Alsop expressed: “Yunchan is that rare artist who brings profound musicality and prodigious technique organically together”. The depth of his artistry and connection to listeners also secured him the Audience Award and Best Performance of a New Work.

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.

Just 19 years old, Yunchan’s ascent to international stardom has been meteoric. In the past year, Yunchan has debuted 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.

In his 23/24 season, Yunchan will look forward to 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.

Yunchan has recently made recital debuts at the Wigmore Hall, Het Concertgebouw, Suntory Hall, and Seoul Arts Center, and his upcoming season will see recital performances including appearances at Carnegie Hall, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Verbier Festival, Gstaad Festival, Società dei Concerti di Milano, and the Kennedy Center among other major stages.

Yunchan’s prize-winning performance of Liszt’s Transcendental Études from the Van Cliburn competition was released in July 2023, debuting at number 5 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Albums chart. Yunchan has also recorded Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Piano Concerto, released in 2022 on the Deutsche Grammophon label, and has featured on KBS’s “2020 Young Musicians of Korea” performing a selection of Beethoven and Lizst.

Born in Siheung, Korea, Yunchan Lim began piano lessons at age 7, when it was time to choose an afterschool activity; 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. Yunchan entered the international music stage a year later, in 2018, winning 2nd prize and the Chopin Special Award in his firstever competition, the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists. Also, that year, he stood out as the youngest participant in the Cooper International Competition, where he won both third prize and the audience prize, and was provided the opportunity to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra. The next year, 2019, brought more accolades, when, at the age of 15, he was the youngest to win Korea’s IsangYun International Competition, also taking home two special prizes.

Yunchan has recently completed two years at the Korea National University of Arts, and is currently studying at the New England Conservatoire with his teacher Minsoo Sohn.