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CCM graduate student Youkyoung Kim.

CCM Doctoral Candidate Youkyoung Kim Takes Top Honors at Seattle International Piano Competition

Second-year doctoral student Youkyoung Kim won the Gold Medalist prize along with the Audience Favorite prize in the professional category of this year’s Seattle International Piano Competition.

The competition took place Oct. 16-19 at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Washington. There were six finalists in the professional category, who were each required to perform for 20 minutes.

Kim performed the first movement of Chopin’s Sonata No. 2, Op. 35, along with the first and fourth movements of Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 28.

The members of the jury for the competition's final round were Mark Clinton, Slawomir Dobrzanski, Robin McCabe, Logan Skelton, Alexander Tutunov and Esther Wang. For the second time, the competition placed jurors behind a screen to ensure that nothing other than the music making influenced their decision. The jury members were unable to engage in discussion with their colleagues, voting strictly by anonymous, silent ballot.

As the winner of the competition’s professional category, Kim received a $2,000 cash prize.

A native of Busan, South Korea, Kim began her piano studies at the age of five and entered Sunhwa Arts High School in 2002. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Seoul National University, where she studied with Junghye Ra and Nayoung Kim, before coming to CCM to complete her master’s degree. At CCM, she studies with Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt.

Kim has received numerous prizes and awards in her native Korea, including First Prizes at the Korea Chopin Competition and the Eumyoun Competition, Second Prizes at the Samick-Seiler Piano Competition, the International Piano Magazine Competition of Korea and Eumag Chunchu Magazine Competition, and Third Prize at the Suri National Music Competition.

In 2013, she won the First Prize in CCM’s Piano Concerto Competition, allowing her to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor with the CCM Philharmonia.

Kim also has taken first runner-up at the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Piano Concerto Competition.

Kim has participated in a wide variety of festivals, including CCM’s Art of the Piano Summer Program, the Seoul National University International Piano Academy and the International Summer Music Festival in Cleve, Germany.

Kim has had an abundance of performing experience and has given many recitals as a soloist and a collaborative artist throughout several venues in South Korea, Germany and the United States.

She was selected as a Young Artist Performer after she won the Eumyoun Competition and the Korea Chopin Competition, allowing her to perform in Youngsan Art Hall along with her fellow Young Artist Performers. Recently, she has performed as a guest artist in Britton Recital Hall at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

You can learn more about the winners of the 2015 Seattle International Piano Competition by visiting