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Kun-Woo Paik (Piano)

Born: May 10, 1946 - Seoul, South Korea

The Korean pianist, Kun-Woo Paik, gave his first concert, aged 10, with the Korean National Orchestra in Seoul, playing Grieg piano concerto. In the following years he performed many important works in Korea, including several premieres such as Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Later he studied at the High School of Performing Arts in New York (1965), the Juilliard School of Music in New York (1965-1971, with diploma), in Italy with Rosina Lhevinne. He had further studies with Ilona Kabos in London, with Wilhelm Kempff and Guido Agosti in Italy. Kun-Woo Paik received Special prize at Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in New York at age 15; Gold Medal at Busoni International Piano Competition in 1969; 1st Prize at Walter Naumburg Piano Competition in New York in 1971; Finalist at Leventritt Competition in 1971; Joseph Lhevinne Award; Franz Liszt Award.

Kun-Woo Paik made his New York orchestral debut with James Conlon in 1972. In his London debut, in 1974, he gave 3 recitals at Wigmore Hall. As recitalist he played at Alice Tully Hall in New York in 1971. Over the years he has performed recitals in major musical centres such as the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall and Berlin Philharmonie. He has also performed with such orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra (Last Night of the Proms 1987), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Torino), Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; with such conductors as Mariss Jansons, Sir Neville Marriner, Lawrence Foster, Mikhail Pletnev, Dmitri Kitaenko, James Conlon, John Nelson and Eliahu Inbal. Kun-Woo Paik is also a regular guest artist at major music festivals such as the Berlin Festwochen, Aix-en-Provence, La Roque d'Antheron, Colmar, Spoleto, Edinburgh, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, "Mostly Mozart" and Ravinia Festivals, and has toured extensively in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Italy.

Kun Woo Paik is a pianist of great musicianship and integrity, who has captivated musicians, audiences and promoters all over the world. His repertoire is very varied and comprises such rare works as Ferruccio Busoniís piano concerto, Gabriel Fauréís Fantasy for piano and orchestra and Franz Liszt's Fantasy on themes from Berliozís Lelio. Kun Woo Paik also performs a wide selection of transcriptions by F. Liszt and Berlioz and is the dedicatee of Suk-Hi Kang's piano concerto.

Kun-Woo Paik has recorded the complete Prokofiev piano concertos with Antoni Wit/Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra for RCA (Diapason d'or in 1993), the complete Sergei Rachmaninovís piano with Wladimir Fedosseyev / Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra (BMG), as well as several solo CD's of Scriabin, F. Liszt, Mussorgsky, S. Rachmaninov, Felix Mendelssohn piano music. In 2000 he signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca Classics. The first release was Bach-Busoni, a much acclaimed CD of transcriptions of J.S. Bachís organ works. In February 2002 Decca will release a 2nd recital dedicated to Gabriel Fauré.

Kun-Woo Paik lives in Paris, is the Artistic Director of the Emerald Coast Music Festival in Dinard (France) and was made "Chevalier de líordre des arts et des lettres" by the French Government in 2000. In September 2000 he was the first Korean artist to be officially invited to perform in China.

"His piano sings, paints, and describes the rise and fall of the wind. But whatever the mood, there is always this precision and attention to detail which draws the audience into the depth of the music"
"Playing Liszt for Kun Woo Paik is a mystical journey, bringing his audience to the very heart of his work to feel its fundamental pulse"

More Photos

Source: Decca Music Group Website; International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2007)

Kun-Woo Paik: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Decca Music Group: Kun Woo Paik
Music: Kun Woo Paik (NY Times)
Kun Woo Paik de retour à Paris (Kultur Kiosque) [French]
Concert Classic: Le pianiste Kun Woo Paik ; titan et poète [French]

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