Dong Hyek Lim
About Dong Hyek Lim
Pianist Dong Hyek Lim grew from a prodigal childhood into an adulthood marked by performances at major concert halls and festivals. His training was notable for its diversity, including Korean, Russian, German, and American elements.
Dong Hyek Lim (sometimes transliterated as Dong-Hyek Lim) was born July 25, 1984, in Seoul. His older brother Dong Min Lim is also a noted pianist, and the pair tied for the third prize at the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Lim attended Korea's National Conservatory as a child and won a nationwide newspaper competition at age nine. He moved to Moscow the following year for studies at the city's Central Music School, where he graduated in 1998. Lim went on to the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, for studies with Lev Naumov, to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, working with Arie Vardi, and to the Juilliard School in New York, where he studied with Emanuel Ax. His career was also backed by pianist Martha Argerich, with whom he has performed, and for whom he recorded in her Martha Argerich Presents series on the EMI label; the album, his debut, featured music by Chopin, Schubert, and Ravel, and won the Diapason d'Or award in France in 2001. Along the way, he won or placed highly in several important competitions, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Premier Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in 2001. Unusually, Lim disputed his third prize award in the 2003 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels; the prize went unawarded, and he was erased from the competition's records. Lim has appeared at many of the world's top concert halls, including the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Great Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory, and Wigmore Hall in London. He is a frequent guest at major European festivals, including the Verbier Festival and the former Martha Argerich Lugano Festival.
Lim recorded Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, in a highly Romantic style for EMI in 2008. With Suyoen Kim, he released the album Schubert for Two on Deutsche Grammophon in 2015. He then moved to the Warner Classics label and has released several solo albums there, as well as a recording of Mozart and Beethoven violin sonatas with Ji Young Lim (no relation). Lim recorded the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op. 18, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Vedernikov for Warner Classics in 2019; the album also featured his performance with Argerich of the two-piano version of the composer's Symphonic Dances, Op. 45. ~ James Manheim