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South Korean Pianist Takes Gold At 15th Cliburn; Americans Win Silver, Bronze

Bill Zeeble
Here are the top three 2017 winners of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. L-r, Daniel Hsu (bronze), Kenneth Broberg (silver), and Yekwon Sunwoo (gold)

Yekwon Sunwoo, a 28-year-old pianist from South Korea, took the gold medal at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this weekend in Fort Worth.

Sunwoo said winning took physical and emotional endurance. For the last two and a half weeks, he had to give new performances nearly every other day. He  wanted to make each one count.

"There’s no one way or no perfection, so that you keep on trying to make the ideal music by really expressing every single detail that you want to do. So every time, you feel that you could have done better," Sunwoo told reporters at a press conference. 

Americans Kenneth Broberg and Daniel Hsu, won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Sunwoo takes home $50,000 and three years of international bookings. Broberg wins $25,000,  Hsu, $15,000, and both get three years of concerts in the U.S.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.