Acclaimed by audiences, critics and fellow musicians, Dong Hyek Lim is regarded as one of the finest pianists of his generation. He was born in 1984 in Seoul, South Korea. After early studies at the National Conservatory in his native country, he moved to Russia at age ten to become a pupil at the Moscow Central Music School. He graduated in 1998 and continued studies at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Professor Lev Naumov. Lim also studied in Germany with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule fur Musik in Hannover and in the States with Emanuel Ax at the Juilliard School.
Lim’s performances at the Small and Great Halls of the Moscow State Conservatory, Salle Pleyel and Salle Cortot in Paris, the Lazienski Palace in Warsaw, the Konzerthaus in Berlin and with Martha Argerich at the Philharmonic Hall in Beppu, Japan, have won great acclaim. Also, Lim has appeared in many renowned festivals, including Verbier in Switzerland, Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, the 57th International Chopin Festival in Poland, La Roque d’Antheron, Montpellier Radio France and Piano aux Jacobins Festivals in France. He has performed with world’s major orchestra such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic under conductors Charles Dutoit, Myung-Whun Chung, Yuri Temirkanov. In May 2001, Lim became the youngest pianist ever to sign a recording contract with EMI Classics and received the Diapason d'or award in France for his debut album of Chopin, Schubert, and Ravel under the "Martha Argerich Presents" series, released in June 2002. His second recording with EMI, featuring Chopin's B minor Sonata and other minor works was awarded the Choc Prize by Le Monde de la Musique. . In 2008, Lim released his third album, playing Goldberg Variations by J.S Bach, and his most recent recording of Chopin the complete prelude on Warner has been met with critical acclaim such as Gramophone and BBC Magazine.
Lim has won top prizes at various competitions. In September 1996, he captured international attention by winning the second prize at the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow as the youngest participant of that year (his elder brother Dong-Min Lim tied for the first prize). In 2000, Lim took the fifth prize at the International Busoni Piano Competition in Italy, which later became known as 'Busoni Shock' (the entire juries were replaced for the next year's competition). He went on to win the second prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan later that year. In December 2001, not only did he become the youngest winner of the Premier Grand Prix in the history of the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris, but also he won five other special awards. In October 2005, Lim participated in the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and, for the first time in the history of Korea, took the third prize; tied with his elder brother Dong-Min Lim (no second prize was awarded). In June 2007, Lim participated in the 13th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, shared fourth prize with Sergei Sobolev (no first prize was awarded).
In 2015, Lim released his recording of with Warner Music International. In the 2018/19 Season, Lim is scheduled to have his first duo concert and release a recording with Martha Argerich, BBC Symphony Orchestra. He will also be performing with Conductor Fabio Luisi and playing a trio with Mischa Maisky.
The most deeply gifted young musician we have heard for a long time, full of maturity, commanding absolute authority, and at the same time with an elegance which one can only find amongst the chosen... an extraordinary talent.
A quality of radiance that betokens real music making. Poetry and virtuosity seem in balance; each performance manifests flow and sweep... I soon stopped making comparisons with past greats and succumbed to the beauty, ease and naturalness of the playing.