Young Korean pianist returns to stun crowd

Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition SUS-140714-072844001
Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition SUS-140714-072844001

A capacity crowd braved the rain last week to attend the annual summer recital at Fairlight Hall given by the winner of this year’s Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Taek Gi Lee, the 17-year-old from South Korea who triumphed in the competition back in March, performed a stunning programme which included pieces by Bach, Haydn, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Lowell Libermann.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the piano competition in its current form. It was the biggest and best event in the competition’s history, attracting 100 entries from all around the world.

As the winner, Taek Gi Lee received a prize of £10,000 plus the chance to appear as a soloist with the world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra later this year. He is currently studying at the Juilliard School in New York.

“The standard this year was incredibly high,” said Professor Frank Wibaut, the Artistic Director. “When we heard Taek Gi Lee, all of us on the jury felt that, if all goes well, we were listening to someone who is going to become one of the world’s leading pianists,”

Plans are now under discussion to make next year’s competition bigger and better still. It will take place at the White Rock Theatre over an extended timetable from Friday 27th February to Saturday 7th March.