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SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- Two South Korean pianists have won top prizes at a prestigious international piano competition in Italy, its website showed Saturday.
Park Jae-hong and Kim Do-hyun got the first and second prizes, respectively, at the 63rd Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, which wrapped up in the northern Italian city of Bolzano on Friday (local time).
Park, 22, became the first Korean winner of the competition since 2015, when pianist Mun Ji-yeong won the competition. The first prize comes with 22,000 euros and performance opportunities with the Haydn Orchestra.
In a phone interview with Yonhap News Agency, Park said he hadn't expected to be the winner, though he was able to perform "without regret."
"I was pleased at the thought that I came down (from the stage) after I said all I wanted to say on the stage," he said. "I was happy as I could perform the piece I like without regret."
Park recalled his unsuccessful first participation in the 2019 Busoni competition, calling the last two years a period of improvement for him.
"Winning the competition offered me a good opportunity to grow further as a pianist, but what is important is to maintain the highest level in future performances," he said.
"While giving precedence to composers, I want to become a humble pianist," he added.
Kim, the 27-year-old second place winner, said he didn't expect to advance to the final round.
"Now that I got the prize, it feels like a dream," he said over the phone.
Kim added that, down the road, he would focus on creating music of his own.
"As I have chosen music, I think I should put life into it. I want to dedicate my all as much as I can," he said.
At the latest competition, Austria's Lukas Sternath won third place.
The Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition was founded in 1949 to honor the 25th anniversary of the death of pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni.