At first, this seemed like a simple report about a young, accomplished pianist, but on closer read, the information disclosed might have lost something in translation. For instance, this bit about his mother coming to the Sendai International Piano Competition:


“I entered at least two international competitions a year since I first began competing at age 16, and I’ve won quite a number of them, each equally important,” he said. “But I try not to give them too much meaning. If I had to pick the most memorable, it would be the Sendai International Piano Competition. My mother flew out to Japan to watch me perform, and because I am not an affectionate son and I try to be as level-headed as I can ahead of competitions, she took the stairs instead of the elevator so that I wouldn’t feel burdened by her presence. I felt sorry, and very grateful.”

I’m still trying to figure out why mom had to take the stairs…Or this part about a broad repertoire and his age:

“I wanted to make sure my programs were filled with pieces that are not often performed here in Korea,” he said. “It’s the kind of repertoire only a pianist of my age can really pull off.”