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From L-R: Yifan Wu, Seokyoung Hong, and Jan Schulmeister

Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition Announces 2023 Winners

South Korean pianist Seokyoung Hong was awarded first place and a $15,000 cash prize


Created in 2015 for pianists aged 13 to 17, the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival just ran its third season from June 8 – 17, 2023, in Dallas, Texas.  

The final round concert saw finalists perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Valentina Peleggi at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

The top prize of $15,000 went to 15-year-old South Korean pianist Seokyoung Hong, who was also the recipient of the $500 audience award.

Second place and $10,000 was awarded to 14-year-old pianist Yifan Wu from China, and third prize with $5,000 was awarded to Jan Schulmeister, 16, from Czechia. Additionally, all three finalists received a scholarship of $2,500 for future music studies.

Cash awards of $2,500 were also awarded to the three other semifinalists: 14-year-old Chinese pianists Zihan Jin and Zhonghua Wei, and 17-year-old Japanese pianist Modan Oyama.

“Thank you to all the piano fans around the world for making this year's Junior Competition an incredible experience and congratulations again to our new Junior winners,” the competition organizers wrote on Twitter.

The finalists were among the 23 pianists who were accepted as competitors for the event, and another 14 non-competing festival participants — all selected through video auditions from 248 applicants from 44 countries. Winners in each round were selected by a nine-person jury of concert pianists and pedagogues.

Chaired by Janina Fialkowska, the jury comprised Jane Coop, Adam Golka, Carol Leone, Anton Nel, Roberto Plano, Katia Skanavi, Jeffrey Swann, and Orion Weiss.

The webcast of the 2023 Junior Cliburn Competition topped 1.2 million views across 122 Countries — a figure that doubled that of the previous 2019 Cliburn Junior edition, which received 650,000 views online.

The Final Round can also be viewed below.



Founded in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, for pianists aged 18-35, is hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation. In recent years, the organization expanded to include competitions for nonprofessional pianists 35 and older, and for young pianists aged 13 to 17. 

A member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, the Cliburn promotes classical piano music around the world through its competitions, education programs, and concert series.

The competition is named for the late Louisiana-born, Texas-raised pianist Van Cliburn. He received international acclaim in 1958, when he won Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition.

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