William Youn

The young Korean pianist William Youn is "a very special lyrical talent, a genuine poet" (Attila Csampai), whose "calm lyrical pondering develops an lavish life of its own, completely unforced, with sovereign, bravura technique of touch and attack" (Marco Frei).

William Youn's projects include concertos with orchestras in world-class concert halls and festival appearances from Berlin to Seoul to New York. Youn enjoys close collaboration with Nils Mönkemeyer, David Orlowsky, Veronika Eberle, Sunhae Im, Nicola Benedetti, Ye-Eun Choi and the Kuss Quartet. Youn frequently performs on the fortepiano at festivals such as the Festival Mitte Europa and the Mozartfest Würzburg 2013. In addition, William Youn makes radio/television productions in Germany at the stations of the ARD, internationally at KBS Korea, in the USA at National Public Radio Boston and at the Czech Broadcasting Company.

The cosmopolitan Youn began his education in Korea; at age 13 he moved to America to the New England Conservatory in Boston and at 18 he moved on to the European continent, attending the Music Academy in Hannover as a member of the legendary piano class of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, and later of the class of Bernd Goetzke. As a stipend holder of the Lake Como Piano Academy, Youn worked regularly with artistic personalities such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Andreas Staier, William Grant Naboréand Menahem Pressler. William Youn has won a large number of international competitions (Cleveland International Piano Competition, Concorso Internazionale Alessandro Casagrande, Shanghai Piano Competition, Busoni Competition in Bozen and the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels). In 2011 he was honoured with the Bavarian State Award for the Advancement of the Arts in his adopted home city of Munich. Since 2012 Youn has also been committed to serving on the Advisory Council of the Wilhelm Kempff Cultural Foundation.

After CD releases for Sony Music Korea and ARS Produktion, Youn recorded two CDs featuring works by Mozart in 2013 and 2015 – on a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand. These recordings, which were released on the label Oehms Classics and lauded by the critics, won the Pizzicato Supersonic Award.

photos © Irène Zandel, Gregor Willmes

William Youn plays Mozart

Among all works by Mozart, the piano concertos are more frequently played than the sonatas with their more intimate character. This is not right, according to the pianist William Youn who recently recorded a second CD with Mozart’s sonatas published under the Oehms Classics label.The CD was recorded in October 2014 at the Berlin-Britz manor on a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand piano wonderfully tuned by Torben Garlin, one of C. Bechstein’s concert technicians.

This instrument is often used for recordings. The audio engineer for Youn’s CD was Bernhard Hanke.Youn was able to take full advantage of the incredible richness of sound produced by the C. Bechstein piano. According to a review published in Fono Forum, “Youn’s power to fascinate lies in his expertise at bringing his grand piano’s singing voice to the foreground”. The same article also states that the CD is “a Mozart to take with you on a desert island”.