Go to contents

Winning competitions should not be the purpose for music, says pianist Paik

Winning competitions should not be the purpose for music, says pianist Paik

Posted December. 06, 2021 07:40,   

Updated December. 06, 2021 07:40


“I find it concerning that classical music has grown superficial. They might be sending wrong messages to young performers with putting competition performance first, glamorous stages and eye-catching costumes,” said pianist Paik Kun-woo on Friday (local time) at the Napoleon Hotel in Paris in an interview with Korean reporters..

Paik will be holding a piano concerto titled “Paik Kun-woo and Friends” 8 p.m on Monday (local time) with three young Korean pianists Kim Hong-ki (age 30), Kim Do-hyun (age 27) and Park Jin-hyeong (25), who will be each performing on their own pianos. Paik, who is known not to train students, had chosen these three pianists by himself. They will be playing Mozart’s Three Piano Concerto, Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Berlioz’s Fantasy Symphony, etc.  

“Each year, I lamented on why I couldn’t have performed better, but looking back, there are music, values and truths that you can only experience when you are young,” said Paik as he encouraged the three pianists who joined the interview. He had not considered the idea of training younger students earlier, but he changed his mind. Paik, who frequently looks up videos of younger performers on YouTube to be inspired by new performances, says he exchanged ideas on how to perform with the three younger pianists.

“I’ve never felt 100% satisfied with my performance. If I make a mistake, I get up and encounter another obstacle. I can’t get away with this type of love, this is the reason I’m infatuated with music through my entire life,” said Paik when asked if he ever played perfunctorily after playing the piano for 65 years. “Musical achievement doesn’t happen overnight. You are mistaken if anybody has become famous overnight,” he said, stressing the importance of time and effort.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com