Dong-Hyek Lim

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Dong-Hyek Lim
Born (1984-07-25) July 25, 1984 (age 30)
Seoul, South Korea
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active fl. ca. 1996-present
Labels EMI
Dong-Hyek Lim
Hangul 임동혁
Revised Romanization Im Dong(-)hyeok
McCune–Reischauer Im Dong-hyŏk

Dong-Hyek Lim (born July 25, 1984 in Seoul) is a South Korean classical pianist. Lim has previously studied with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover and received the Samsung Culture Scholarship and the Ezoe Scholarship. He currently studies with Emanuel Ax at the Juilliard School.[1]


Lim first began to study piano at the age of seven, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Dong-Min Lim, who is also an acclaimed young pianist. He won the Grand Prix at the Hanguk Daily Newspaper Competition[2] and was chosen the year's best young pianist by the Korean Children Association at the age of 9. In 1994, he moved to Moscow to study at the Moscow Central Music School. He graduated in 1998 and became the youngest student in the history of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and continued his studies there with Professor Lev Naumov. At age 11, he gave a recital attended by the orthodox Patriarch Alexius II and performed in front of the Russian President Boris Yeltsin.[3]


Lim has been the recipient of many prominent awards. In September 1996, he took second prize in the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow [1] and received much international attention by being the youngest participant in the competition and by placing with his elder brother Dong-Min Lim who tied for first prize. In 2000, Lim placed fifth at the International Busoni Piano Competition in Italy [2] and won second prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition[4] in Japan.

In December 2001, he became the youngest winner of the Premier Grand Prix in the history of the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris and also five other special awards.[5]

Lim created controversy in 2003 upon his refusal of his third prize placement in the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels, stating that the judging wasn't fair.[6] The third place prize was consequently 'unawarded' for the first time since the establishment of the competition in 1938, and Lim's name and placement is missing from the laureat's page on the official web site.[7]

Lim participated in the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in October 2005 and shared the third prize his elder brother Dong-Min Lim, with no second prize being awarded.[8] He then placed fourth with fellow contestant Sergei Sobolev in the 13th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in June 2007, where no first prize was awarded.[9]

Performing and recording career[edit]

Lim has performed in many venues including the Seoul Arts Center, Small and Great Halls of the Moscow State Conservatory, Salle Pleyel and Salle Cortot in Paris, the Lazienki Palace in Warsaw, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Philharmonic Hall in Beppu, Japan.[1] He has also participated in renowned festivals such as Verbier in Switzerland, Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, the 57th International Chopin Festival in Poland, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Piano aux Jacobins festival in France and Martha Argerich’s Festival [3] in Lugano.[1]

He also appeared with reputable orchestras: the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, the Orchestre National de France under Kurt Masur, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Lawrence Foster and Myung-Whun Chung, the National Orchestra of Belgium under Alexander Dmitriev, the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek, the European Union Youth Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Northern Sinfonia under Thomas Zehetmair, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In May 2001, Lim became the youngest pianist ever to make a recording contract with EMI Classics. He received the Diapason d'Or award[10] in France for his debut album of Chopin, Schubert, and Ravel under the "Martha Argerich Presents" series, released in June 2002. His second recording for EMI, featuring Chopin's B minor Sonata and other minor works, released in 2004, was awarded the Choc Prize by Le Monde de la Musique.[1] His third album of Bach's Goldberg Variations and the Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D Minor was released in August, 2008 under EMI.[1]

Lim will be participating in the Ditto Festival, a classical music festival in Seoul with a duo recital with Gautier Capuçon in June, 2010.

Personal life[edit]

In November 2009, Lim's mother suddenly died while he was on tour in Malaysia. He played Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess in her honor at his recital at the Seoul Arts Center in February, 2010.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e (Korean) Official web site
  2. ^ (Korean) Lim brothers win prize Hankook Daily 2005-10-23
  3. ^ (Korean) Article on Lim Dong Hyek Yonhap News 2001-05-26
  4. ^ Lim wins 2nd prize The 5th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition Official Site
  5. ^ Laureat Dong-Hyek Lim Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition
  6. ^ (Korean) Lim refuses prize Yonhap News 2003-06-09
  7. ^ Laureats 2003 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition
  8. ^ International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition Edition XV (2005)
  9. ^ (Korean) Lim shares fourth place Donga Ilbo 2007-07-02
  10. ^ (Korean) Lim wins Diapason d'Or Donga Ilbo 2002-09-16
  11. ^ (Korean) In memory of his mother Yonhap News 2010-02-05

External links[edit]