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Kun Woo Paik


His piano sings, paints, and describes the rise and fall of the wind. But whatever the mood, there is always this precision and attention to detail which draws the audience into the depth of the music.
New York Times

The true authentic virtuoso
Le Figaro

A pianist of great musicianship and integrity, Kun Woo Paik has captivated musicians, audiences and promoters all over the world.

Born in Seoul, Kun Woo Paik’s first concert was at the age of 10 performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Korean National Orchestra. In the following years he made his name performing several premieres such as Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Later he studied in New York, London and in Italy with Rosina Lhevinne, Ivona Kabos, Guido Agosti and Willhelm Kempff. Kun Woo Paik is also a laureate of the Naumburg and Busoni International Piano Competitions.

Over the years Kun Woo Paik has given recitals in the greatest halls including the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall and Berlin Philharmonie. He has also performed with such orchestras as the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Rai Torino, Warsaw Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra and Polish National Radio Orchestra, with such conductors as Mariss Jansons, Sir Neville Marriner, Lawrence Foster, Loren Mazel, Dmitri Kitaenko, James Conlon, John Nelson, Eliahu Inbal, Vladimir Jurowski, and Mikhail Pletnev. Kun Woo Paik is also a regular guest artist at major music festivals such as the Berlin Festwochen, Aix-en-Provence, La Roque d’Antheron, Colmar, Prague, Spring, Spoleto, Aldeburgh, 'Mostly Mozart' and Ravinia Festivals, and has toured extensively in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

His repertoire ranges from Bach to Stockhausen, from Busoni to Scriabin, from Liszt to Messiaen. He created a remarkable musical event with a series of 6 recitals in London and Paris dedicated to works for piano solo by Franz Liszt. Brigitte Massin (Le Matin) wrote on that occasion: 'to play Liszt is for Kun Woo Paik a mystical journey, a way of bringing his audience to the very heart of this work, to feel its fundamental pulse…'.

In the year 2000, he performed the Asian Premier of Busoni piano concerto in Seoul. In October 2000 he was the first Korean artist to be officially invited by the Chinese government. In 2003, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Prokofiev's death, Kun Woo Paik performed his concertos in Berlin, Milan, Budapest, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Nice and Seville. In 2004 he performed the complete Rachmaninov’s Concertos with the China Philharmonic in Beijing. In 2007 he performed the complete Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas (in 8 consecutive recitals) in China and Korea.

As an exclusive Decca artist, Kun Woo Paik has made several acclaimed recordings including Busoni's Transcriptions of Bach's organ works, a Fauré recital (Diapason d’or) and Chopin's complete works for piano and orchestra. In 2007 he completed the recording of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. Kun Woo Paik's Beethoven sonata cycle is the first new complete recording on Decca since Vladimir Ashkenazy's complete cycle for the label made in the 1970s.

Kun Woo Paik’s discography include solo CDs of Scriabin, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn piano music and the complete Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos and Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini (under Vladimir Fedoseeyev for BMG). His complete Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos (Naxos) received both the Diapason d’Or in 1993 and the Nouvelle Academie du Disque Award in France.

Kun Woo Paik lives in Paris, is the Artistic Director of the Emerald Coast Music Festival in Dinard (France) and was made Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Government in 2000.