Sunwook Kim is the first Korean pianist, and the youngest since the very first winner, Michael Roll in 1963, to win the final of this major competition. He won with a performance of Brahm's first piano concerto on Saturday 23 September 2006.
The victory will help the young Korean pianist onto an international career as the winner has the pick of many offered by the ‘Leeds’.
The runners up and the prizes were:
2nd prize: Andrew Brownell, from USA
3rd prize: Denis Kozhukhin, Russia
4th prize: Siheng Song, China
5th prize: Sung-Hoon Kim, Korea
6th prize: Grace Fong, USA
|Sunwook Kim in action|
Sunwook Kim was the eventual winner after competing against 70 other young pianists from 27 countries through three earlier rounds.
Originally 235 pianists from 48 countries applied to play at Leeds. After an initial selection just 71 arrived to begin the competition on September 6 2006. There have been 123 separate performances and over 150 hours of piano playing during the competition.
The Leeds International Pianoforte Competition was founded in 1961 by Dame Fanny Waterman and Marion Thorpe and the first competition took places in 1963. The 2006 competition is the fifteenth and the next competition will be in 2009.