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Pianist Lee Hyuk plays in front of Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

Pianist Lee Hyuk plays in front of Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

Posted July. 17, 2023 08:07,   

Updated July. 17, 2023 08:07


South Korean Pianist Lee Hyuk seemed excited last Friday (local time) right before playing for “Le Concert de Paris (The Concert of Paris),” a classical music concert held in the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower to commemorate “Bastille Day” that marks the start of the French Revolution. “I was told that the concert will be broadcast with more than 500 TVs installed along the nearby roads. My performance will reach 350,000 to 500,000 audiences.”

The first South Korean pianist, who was invited to the commemorative French concert, appeared on the stage as the first performer of the event to play three pieces for around 20 minutes – Chopin’s “Nocturne in C sharp minor” and “Heroic Polonaise,” and Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos' transcription of Mozart's “Turkish March.” He was given the honor of opening this year’s concert in recognition of co-winning the first prize at the Long-Thibaud International Competition in France last November.

Lee started to play the piano at the age of three. “I heard that I was excited to listen to music at a young age,” he said. At 10 when he heard audiences hailing with joy in his first joint performance with an overseas orchestra, he first decided that he would love to become a musician.

His end goal is to become a conductor. “There is so much more that I want to do including playing the violin on stage. My final destination is to become a conductor. I also wish to be a grandmaster in chess,” he smiled, adding that he hopes to stay faithful and sincere while playing music.

As the winner of the 2012 Chopin Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow, he gained fame by becoming the youngest winner of the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Poland in 2016. President Gérard Bekerman of the Long-Thibaud Foundation commended Lee as a readily communicative performer who is fully willing to share his God-given talent with audiences.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com