Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
None of my family were musicians. But my mom loves classical music and always put on classical music at home when I was a child. I started to learn the piano at the age of 5 and immediately it became the most important in my life.. My mom bought me an upright piano for my 8th birthday present. And then music itself always has been inspiring me.
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
My parents who support me endlessly with love, my teacher, Daejin Kim, whom I’ve been studying with for about 9 years, and all the composers and the great music that they gave to the world.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
After the Busoni Competition 4 years ago, I suddenly faced situations where I had to learn new pieces really quickly for the next concerts. It was extremely painful and hard to learn concertos within 2 weeks and perform them (such as Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Concerto, Schumann Concerto….). Those were extreme….On the other hand, every time I bring music on stage is a challenge.
Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?
I’m not sure if it’s possible to be proud of my own recordings and performances, because I mostly realize things that I have to (and want to) improve. But I think that’s very important because it makes me motivated and enables me to evolve as a musician.
Which particular works do you think you perform best?
I think to play a piece well, the most important thing to me is to love it with all my heart and just be in that music. Hard to say what I perform best, but my favourite composer is Schumann.
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
Until some years ago, my professor suggested pieces which would be good for me to play, but now I’ve started to make my own programmes. I normally decide on one main piece first which I’m fascinated by, and choose other pieces which I feel are great to go with the main piece in my opinion. I hope later I find my very own way to choose repertoire.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
I played a lot in Italy in recent years and I was totally entranced by such beautiful, old theatres there. I especially enjoyed playing recitals at small venues. And also the final round for Geneva competition at Victoria Hall was a stunning experience.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
When I play and feel that everybody is so deeply in the music with me, it makes me shiver.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Continuing to grow musically throughout my life.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
Love music with all your heart and know how blessed we are to be musicians.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Drinking really good coffee with a person I love.
Award-winning young Korean pianist Jiyeong Mun gives the Keyboard Trust’s Annual Prizewinner’s Recital at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 27 October
Jiyeong Mun is a South Korean classical pianist. She drew international attention when she won the Geneva International Competition in Switzerland in 2014 and then the Busoni International Competition in 2015 consecutively.
(artist picture by Jino Park)