South Korean Pianist Yunchan Kim, 18, Wins Van Cliburn Gold Medal

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Van Cliburn International Competition winners, left to right: Russian 31-year-old silver medalist Anna Geniushene, South Korean 18-year old gold medalist Yunchan Lim, and Ukrainian 28-year-old bronze medalist Dmytro Choni. Top prize-winner Lim was also the youngest of the 30 competitors.

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Yunchan Lim, 18, of South Korea, was awarded the gold medal June 18 at the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Runners-up, earning silver and bronze medals, respectively, were Anna Geniushene, 31, of Russia, and Dmytro Choni, 28, of Ukraine.

For a complete list of winners, go here.

The awards were announced after Sunday afternoon’s fourth and last concerto concert of the competition’s final round, which offered much to enjoy. Beethoven’s Third was heard again, in a poised, compelling performance by Choni. Chopin finally got his innings in Uladzislau Khandohi’s rather inward-looking rendition of the Concerto No. 1 in E minor. And after bringing a light touch to much of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Geniushene stunned the audience — and capped this virtuoso competition — by unleashing her reserve power in a flood of octaves at the end.

In a sense, her ovation was for all six finalists, or all 30 of this year’s contestants. They should all go back to the practice room with heads held high.

The final rounds of the 16th Cliburn Competition are available for viewing at YouTube

Lim’s gold medal comes with $100,000 cash, artist management for three years, and international concert bookings. Second and third place come with $50,000 and $25,000 respectively, and some concert bookings as well.

Lim was also the winner of the Carla and Kelly Thompson Audience Award and the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for Best Performance of a New Work. Other prizewinners included the Russian pianist Ilya Shmukler for Best Performance of a Mozart Concerto, and discretionary awards by the jury were given to the French-Japanese pianist Marcel Tadokoro and the South Korean pianist Changyong Shin.