Meet the ten pianists

 40 pianotalents from 21 different countries were selected for the first round of Liszt Utrecht 2022, that took place from 6 to 9 January 2022 in TivoliVredenburg. The jury selected ten top talents for the Festival Phase in September 2022. Meet the ten selected pianists.


• Special prize for the best participant from Eastern Europe at the 2018 Liszt International Piano Competition Weimar-Bayreuth.
• Studied in 2019 at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar with Christian Wilm Müller.
• Studies at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Alexander Mndoyants since 2016.
• Performed at the Bolshoy Theater, St. Petersburg Philharmonia and the Philharmonie ‘Gasteig’ in Munich.

Viktoria: ''It is important for me to create an atmosphere in the hall that could help to immerse in the music and to share with the audience the beauty, facets and colors of the pieces, where each listener can find something of their own.''



• Studies at the Showa University of Music in Japan with Fumiko Eguchi.
• Prize winner of numerous piano competitions in Lithuania, South Korea, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Italy, and the United States.
• Performed with the Astana State Philharmonic, Tatarstan National Symphony, Lithuanian National Symphony, and the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Yukine: ''I like technical passages and I love Liszt's songs that scream love and despair. I want to combine that with my personality and express it well.''



• Studied piano with Soojeong Jeong at Goyang High School of Arts and with Hyung-Joon Chang and Sehee Kim at Seoul National University.
• Second prize in the Korean Liszt Competition and first prize in the Jock Holden Memorial Mozart Piano Prize at the Royal Conser vatoire of Scotland.
• Many recitals in Korea, including several lecture concerts. Also performed the entire Transcendental Etudes by Franz Liszt.
• Currently attending the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying with Aaron Shorr and Sinae Lee.

Minkyu: ”My wish is not only be a pianist, but also a great scholar. I love doing research.''



• Prize winner of numerous piano competitions in Italy, France, and Russia, and finalist in the Queen Elisabeth Competition for piano in 2021.
• Performed with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the Minsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre national de Metz, and the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy.
• Currently studying at the Accademia Pianistica ‘Incontri Col Maestro’ in Imola, Italy under the direction of Boris Petrushansky.

Vitaly: ''I bring my idea of the music to the audience, and I do that in full concentration. It makes me forget the world.''


• Prize winner of numerous piano competitions in the Czech Republic, Spain, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Norway and the United States.
• Recorded Liszt’s ‘Années de pèlerinage. Première année: Suisse’ in 2017.
• Currently studying at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Prof. Ivan Klánský and at the Accademia pianistica in Imola with Prof. Boris Petrushansky.

Matyáš: ''I try to tell stories through music. For me, every piece is a whole, which I try to build with all the details, of course, but so that the whole still holds together. I try to see every composition in my mind exactly at one moment, which I find very important.''


• Studied at the Luisa D’Annunzio Conservatory of Pescara and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Benedetto Lupo.
• In 2015 one of the six pianists selected to compete for the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize and to participate in the masterclass held by Daejin Kim at the Eppan Piano Academy.
• Winner of the “Raymond E. Buck” Jury Discretionary Award at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Competition.
• Debut recording dedicated to Franz Liszt was internationally praised by public and critics and received a nomination for the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2018.

Leonardo: ‘’I want to be a perceptive pianist and create unpredictable, refreshing moments. I want to surprise myself. Sometimes it turns out wrong, and sometimes it’s way better than expected.’’


• Winner at the Alaska International Piano E-Competition 2018, and awarded Third Prize at the Maria Canals International Piano Competition 2019.
• Performed at Esplanade in Singapore, Shanghai Concert Hall, Palau de la Musica Catalana and participated in festivals such as PianoTexas, Verbier Festival and Hong Kong Arts Festival.
• Besides his activities as a performer, he is involved in collaborative projects involving modern dance and theatres. He also writes prolifically about music and was featured at the Pianist Magazine.
• He is currently pursuing an Artistic Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under Prof. Ronan O’Hora, and with Prof. Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist at the Ingesund School of Music.

KaJeng: ''My purpose to perform at Liszt Utrecht is to play something that can show who I am, and to tell the world my approach to making music.''


• He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Juilliard School and was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music upon graduation.
• Currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Juilliard, studying with Stephen Hough and Veda Kaplinsky as a Kovner Fellowship recipient.
• Derek has performed in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum, Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library and Museum, and the West Gallery of the Frick Collection.

Derek: ''As an Liszt interpreter, what I'm essentially always looking for is that all aspects of the music making - the intellectual, the emotional and the physical - are all going to be united.''


• First prize winner of the George Enescu, Lyon, Hanoi, Suzhou, Mayenne, Palma d'oro International Piano Competition and prize winner at the Jaen, Vienna Beethoven, Seoul.
• Studied at the Seoul National University with Prof. Aviram Reichert. Currently pursuing Konzertexamen degree at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, studying with Prof. Bernd Goetzke.
• Performed with numerous orchestras such as the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, Südwestdeutscher Philharmonie, and more.

Yeon-Min: ''I believe through Liszt's music, I can show a variety of myself as a pianist and a person.''


• Entered the class of professor Edisher Rusishvili at the Vano Sarajishvili State Conservatoire in Tblisi in 2013.
• First prize and a scholarship to study at the Long Island Conservatory in New York at the International Music Competition in Stockholm, Sweden in 2015.
• Participated in various international festivals, competitions and masterclasses.
• Currently a Master Student at the Weimar University of Music with Professor Gerlinde Otto.

Tamta: ''I believe the main advantage of Liszt Utrecht is that we're performing Liszt’s pieces which are not often performed. I think it's very challenging and enjoyable for us participants as well as for the public.''