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The greatest pianists discovered in the competitions

Posted October. 30, 2015 09:18,   

한국어

In the International Tchaikovsky Competition held this summer, the first, second, and third places in piano were taken by Russian pianists. However, they were not the ones who got the most public attention, but rather French pianist Lucas Debargue, 25, who took the fourth place. Regardless of his rank, the audience was thrilled by and the media focused on his "legendary" performance based on his unique interpretation of the piano pieces. Many were moved by the dramatic life of the poor pianist who could not afford to buy a piano.

When he was 11, Debargue was inspired after hearing a friend playing the piano and started teaching himself. At 17, he had to work at a supermarket for three years away from the piano. Later, by chance, he was asked to perform in a festival in his hometown, and he became mesmerized by the piano again. He worked at a jazz club to make money for a registration fee for a competition where his performance was broadcast live on international television and became sensational in the musical world.

Although there are cases like Evgeny Kissin who debuted at 12 and distinguished himself before participating in a competition, international competitions are a gateway to many young musicians` dream. That is because once their performance is broadcast on the TV and the Internet, they can display their talent and skills, not just to the judges, but also to music fans all over the world. Pianist Cho Seong-jin, 21, has become a rising star after he won the Chopin Competition. When his score was revealed, the public was shocked because he got 1 point, the lowest, from one judge and yet he still won first place.

Debargue is a "home-grown" talent who chose to go to France after finishing his second year of high school at a young age. Many were impressed by the upbringing style of his parents. Unlike many parents who sacrifice their personal lives in order to make their child successful, his father, a businessman, and stay-at-home mother did not interfere in Cho’s life "for his good." With all these factors, his live album at the competition to be released in November has been ranked number one in preliminary sales. This is the first time for a classical album to top the music charts in Korea. Agencies have seen a flood of inquiries on the Chopin Competition GALA Concert to be held next February. Both Debargue and Cho carved their way to success without getting help from their parents. They are the greatest stars produced in this year’s competitions.



mskoh119@donga.com