- A. Scriabin 24 Preludes
- S. Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 1
"South Korean pianist Paik Kun-Woo performed works by Scriabin, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff as if he shared a soul with the composers. The success of this (2nd Moscow Easter) music festival could not have been achieved without his performance."- Russian Daily Newspaper Izvestia.
Paik Kun-Woo, who was born in Seoul, had his first concert at the age of 10 with a piano concerto alongside the Korean National Orchestra. The following year, he performed Mussorgsky’s suite “Pictures from an Exhibition” at the Kun Festival, which shared his name. At the age of 15, he went to the States to study under Rosina Lhévinne, who was continuing the great tradition of Russian pianists, at the Juilliard School. Then, in 1967 he went to London where he studied under Ilona Kabos and went on to win the Naumburg Competition in the same year.
In 1969, Paik Kun-Woo made it to the finals of the Leventritt Competition, and in the same year he won gold at the prestigious Busoni Competition.
After this, he collaborated with world-famous orchestras and was awarded the Golden Diapson Prize, further enhancing his reputation. In 1972, he performed Ravel’s full-length solo for the first time at New York’s Lincoln Center and solidified his position as Ravel’s top interpreter through performances at Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall, in London, and in Paris. In 1987, Paik Kun-Woo performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms, and in May 1991, he performed all of Prokofiev’s 5 concertos alongside the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Antoni Wit at the “Music Festival Celebrating the 100th birthday of Prokofiev”, which was broadcast by Polish TV. Furthermore, he graced the opening stage of Moscow’s December Festival together with Vladimir Spivakov’s Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
In 1991, he recorded Scriabin’s full piano solos in 8 albums with France’s Danté Labelle, and the following year he won a prominent music award for Prokofiev’s piano concertos, gaining recognition from the world’s media. He once again received praise from the music world for his first album after signing a contract with Decca Classics in 2000, Beethoven’s organ pieces transcribed by Busoni, and the publishing of an album of Fauré’s piano pieces, his second album to win France’s top prize. He currently resides in Paris where he concentrates on performances, and in 2000 he was made “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres” by the French government.