SIPC 2023 Opening Gala

Pianists’ Choice: Top Winners at Sydney 2023 Opt for Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand

The world of classical music recently turned its gaze towards the Sydney International Piano Competition, a globally renowned event that took place between July 12th and 24th, 2023. Nestled in the heart of Sydney, Australia, this competition has been a beacon for emerging pianists, offering them a platform to showcase their talent to the world.

This year, a particular highlight was the choice of instrument by several finalists: the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX full concert grand piano.

Sydney International Piano Competition 2023: Final Results

1st Prize  Jeonghwan KIM  Germany     Shigeru Kawai SK-EX
 2nd Prize  Uladzislau KHANDOHI     Belarus
 3rd Prize  Yungyung GUO  China  Shigeru Kawai SK-EX
 4th Prize  Yuanfan YANG  United Kingdom  Shigeru Kawai SK-EX
 5th Prize     Wynona Yinuo WANG  China
 6th Prize  Vitaly STARIKOV  Russia

Reflections from the Prize Winners

Jeonghwan KIM

Jeonghwan KIM
Jeonghwan KIM

1st Prize Winner’s Insights:

“Winning the first prize means a lot to me, it indeed is a great honor to win a prize at such a prestigious competition. But also it is a big responsibility for me to give the best I can, to really able to connect with people and share wonderful moments in the music. So it is a great motivation for me to seek after a deeper meaning of music and performing.”

When asked about their experience playing the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, the winner shared:

“On performing on Shigeru Kawai, I was feeling really free especially in Mozart. This instrument let me do all I wanted and it is one of the most beautiful sound you can get from a grand piano.”

Yungyung GUO

Yungyung GUO
Yungyung GUO

Yungyung GUO, the 3rd Prize Winner, shared:

“It was my huge honor to be one of the prize winners of the Sydney International Piano Competition. This is an amazing and unique journey because Sydney Competition is one of the most prestigious in the world and I followed in my teacher’s footsteps to win the George Frederick Boyle Prize. I look forward to coming to and performing in Sydney again!”

On their impressions of the SK-EX concert grand, Yungyung GUO remarked:

“In the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition, the SK-EX concert grand was fully capable of producing impressive sound. Whatever the form is – solo, chamber music or concerto, this instrument can accurately convey the sound which I was pursuing and looking for on the stage.”

A Brief Dive into the Sydney International Piano Competition

Initiated in 1977, the Sydney International Piano Competition stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of classical music. Held quadrennially, its final round is a spectacle to behold, taking place within the architectural marvel that is Sydney’s iconic opera house. Over the years, this competition has not only celebrated the art of piano playing but has also played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of numerous pianists, offering them a global stage to shine.

The Sydney International Piano Competition (SIPC) is more than just a contest; it is a celebration of piano music, a gathering of talents, and a launchpad for the world’s future leading pianists. SIPC competition has grown over the years to become one of the most respected and prestigious piano competitions on the global stage.

Global Recognition:

  • The SIPC is renowned for its stringent selection process and high standards. Pianists from all corners of the globe apply to participate, but only a select few are invited to Sydney to compete. This competition is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, which speaks to its international prestige.

Diverse Repertoire:

  • One of the unique aspects of the SIPC is its commitment to a diverse and challenging repertoire. Contestants are required to perform a wide range of pieces, from classical sonatas to modern Australian compositions. This not only showcases the versatility of the competitors but also introduces audiences to a rich variety of piano music.

Career Springboard:

  • Winning, or even just participating in the SIPC, can be a significant boost for a young pianist’s career. The competition offers substantial cash prizes, but perhaps more importantly, it provides exposure to a global audience and networking opportunities with influential figures in the classical music world.

Educational Outreach:

  • The SIPC is not just about competition; it is also about education and community engagement. In addition to the competition rounds, the event often includes masterclasses, lectures, and school programs, aiming to inspire the next generation of pianists and classical music lovers.

Iconic Venue:

  • The final rounds of the competition are held in one of the most iconic and acoustically acclaimed venues in the world, the Sydney Opera House. This setting adds a layer of grandeur and historical significance to the performances, making it a dream stage for any pianist.

Commitment to Excellence:

  • The SIPC is known for its commitment to excellence, not just in the quality of the performances it showcases, but also in the pianos provided for competitors. As seen in the 2023 competition, top-tier pianos, such as the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano, are selected for the performances, ensuring that competitors can produce the best sound possible.

The Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Full Concert Grand Piano: A Masterpiece in Craftsmanship

Making its debut in 2001, the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano is the crown jewel of the Shigeru Kawai line. Each of these pianos is a labor of love, hand-crafted in limited batches, following a distinctive ‘prototyping’ creation process. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in the choice of materials, with each instrument boasting premium aged spruce soundboards.

But what truly sets the Shigeru Kawai instruments apart is the advanced Millennium III keyboard action. This state-of-the-art feature incorporates extended wooden keys and cutting-edge ABS Carbon action parts. The result? A piano that offers unparalleled speed and responsiveness, enabling pianists to delve deeper into their art and convey a myriad of emotions with every performance.

In conclusion, the Sydney International Piano Competition 2023 was not just a celebration of talent but also a testament to the timeless appeal of quality instruments like the Shigeru Kawai SK-EX concert grand piano. As we look forward to future competitions, one thing is certain: music, in all its forms, will continue to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

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