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Sae Yoon Chon


Winner of the 11th Competition – 2018 

I had the most wonderful experience at the Dublin International Piano Competition. I always wanted to be a concert pianist and winning the first prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition made my childhood dream come true. The DIPC has opened so many significant international concert opportunities for me for which I am extremely grateful.

I had been to Dublin on a number of occasions before I came for the Competition and I felt I knew it and its generous welcome for all visitors very well.  However, being a competitor in the DIPC elevated the word ‘experience’ to a level I never thought possible. The welcome from both my host family, Amelia and Tony, and piano family, Frances and Malachy, bowled me over. The organisation of the Competition was outstanding. The warmth and friendship from all the teams in the Competition was matched by their professional approach and attention to detail. I felt so secure at every level.

Performing in the rounds at the RDS and then moving to the NCH for the semi-finals and finals, was a journey of great joy, and it will remain with me forever.   

And what can I say about the Steinway piano? It was perfect, it was one of the finest instruments I have ever played, and to have Ulrich Gerhartz from Steinway attending to the piano through all the rounds was something I never expected. 

I have heard that there is a song that has a line ‘Dublin can be heaven’, but I would say ‘Dublin is heaven’ and will always be my second home.”

Sae Yoon Chon: