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THE SCOOP | Toronto Born Pianist Tony Yun Wins Prestigious Prize At Rheingau

By Anya Wassenberg on August 11, 2023

Tony Yun (Photo: Dario Acosta)
Tony Yun (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Canadian pianist Tony Siqi Yun has been awarded the Rheingau Music Festival’s LOTTO-Förderpreis for 2023. The prize, sponsored by the Hessian lottery company, comes with 15,000 euros in cash.

Germany’s Rheingau Musik Festival, which kicked off on June 24, is ongoing until September 2, and includes some 164 concerts spread over 29 locations. Tony was first invited to the Rheingau Festival in 2022, where he performed a concert that roused a wave of interest. That led to the second invitation in 2023. He will cap the prize win with a recital at the Fürst von Metternich Hall, performing a programme of Brahms, Wagner, Beethoven, Busoni and Schumann.

The LOTTO prize has been awarded at the Festival since 2009, and recognizes a young artist at the dawn of their careers who shows exceptional promise and potential.

Tony Siqi Yun

There’s no doubt that Toronto-born Tony Yun fits that criteria. In making the award, the jury mentioned Yun’s technical brilliance combined with naturalness, and his youthful energy.

Yun first catapulted to international attention in 2019, when he took home the First Prize and Gold Medal at the inaugural China International Music Competition in Beijing at the age of 18. He’d been studying piano for several years by that point.

  • He started his music education in 2011 at the affiliated middle school of the Central Music Conservatory in Beijing;
  • Continued his studies at Dulwich College Beijing;
  • In between competitions and performances, he’s currently studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio at the Juilliard School in New York, where he’s the recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship.

Tony is also no stranger to winning competitions…

  • In 2018, he won the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition;
  • Winner of Paris Play-Direct Academy 2021;
  • In 2022, he won two prizes at the 20th edition of the Kissinger KlavierOlymp.

Tony Siqi Yun performs Bach/Busoni: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Chorale Prelude BWV 639 at Vancouver Playhouse Theatre for the Vancouver Recital Society on October 24, 2021.

A performing career already begun

As he continues his studies, Tony Yun has launched a high profile performing career. Tony first met Montréal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Beijing at the fateful competition, where he won first prize. Yun performed with the conductor leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in the final round.

Nézet-Séguin reunited with the young pianist in February 2023 for Yun’s subscription debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

Tony has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the TSO, and he made his Canadian debut in a performance of Clara Schumann with Montréal’s Orchestre Métropolitain. Tony has performed solo recitals at the Vancouver Recital Society, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, among other major venues.

Next season, he’ll make his subscription debut at Carnegie Hall with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain performing Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.

Tony Yun will receive the LOTTO prize on Sunday, August 13 during his concert at Johannisberg Castle in Rheingau, Germany.

Congratulations — and we doubt it will be the last time we make that wish to Mr. Yun.


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