FORT WORTH, Texas — South Korea’s Yekwon Sunwoo has won the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which is one of the top showcases for the world’s best pianists.
The 28-year-old Sunwoo emerged from 30 competitors to claim the $50,000 award and a gold medal Saturday. The competition is held every four years in Fort Worth, where Cliburn lived. The contest was founded in the famed pianist’s honor in 1962. He died in 2013.
Sunwoo is the first South Korean to win.
The competition began May 25 with pianists from 12 countries and Hong Kong. In the finals round, each of six finalists performed with a string quartet and then with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
American Kenneth Broberg, a Minneapolis native, was second. Another American, Daniel Hsu, of San Francisco, finished third.