Following Yunchan Lim’s recent performances in Singapore (we’re still amazed, by the way!), we went down the rabbit-hole and found a special interview with the youngest ever winner of the Van Cliburn International Competition by EPTA UK Trustee Yulia Chaplina (herself an accomplished pianist, having won 7 international piano competitions including the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians). We would love to share some of our favourite parts with you via some trivia about Yunchan Lim.

Rising Star – 18 year old pianist Yunchan Lim on a C. Bechstein D282 at the Martha Argerich & Friends concert in Singapore on 9th November 2022
  • Yunchan Lim almost couldn’t participate in the Van Cliburn Competition!

He said, “The most worrisome part was that I might not be able to participate in the competition due to Covid-19 before I went to the US, because three days before I left the country I was so sick that I couldn’t do anything because I suddenly had a cold. But it suddenly got better a day later, and the Covid test was negative, so I was able to participate in the end.”


What a lucky break!


  • He has been working with his teacher Minsoo Sohn since he was 13 years old.

One of the most important things Yunchan Lim has learned from his teacher is that “Improvisation on stage is very important. You can change the music freely depending on your condition at that time, not as you practise. It is one of the basics every pianist should have and I think it is very important.”


Improvisation is a skill that is encouraged and features in the Rockschool Contemporary Piano, and the RSL Classical Piano syllabus too if you’d like to check it out. Visit us at any of our office locations for a closer look!


  • Yunchan Lim has been learning the piano since he was 7 years old. 

Yunchan said it was not an easy journey. He had to travel far away to his piano lessons, and it involved a lot of time and practice. “There were many things that I could not handle at my age since i was young”


  • He has dreamed of becoming a pianist since he was 8.

“I never thought I’d be a pianist. But I wanted to be a pianist, and I prayed every single day since I was 8 years old.”

  • He plays a lot of scales

Yunchan says, “Unlike a genius pianist, I’m not born with anything. I practised scales without skipping a single day!”


Yunchan Lim at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition held at Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • He practices 6 hours a day – at least!

And that’s after his studies with his teacher Minsoo Sohn. “I practise to bring the music out of my mind into reality”.


  • His favourite part of practising is…

“When music finally recognises my heart and expresses it in real life as I want.” 


If that doesn’t endear this young pianist to the world, we don’t know what will. We will eagerly look forward to Yunchan Lim’s next endeavours in the Music World.

The full article was published in Piano Professional Issue 59 September 2022 and can be accessed here.


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