Dmytro Choni took home bronze at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in June 2022, only the second Ukrainian pianist to medal at the prestigious contest. He won hearts and accolades with a compelling and colorful musicality that is fortified by a genuine, immediately engaging stage presence. As one critic noted: “Each time he strode onstage, it was with winning confidence and a big smile. He’s clearly an accomplished, assured – and communicative – pro” (Dallas Morning News).
Stand-out Cliburn performances were manyfold: Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 that “[leapt] off the page in a stunning display of musical intelligence and keyboard athleticism” and showcased “contrasting sections of lush lyricism with blazing paroxysms and helter-skelter runs – a compelling performance from start to finish” (Classical Voice North America, Musical America); Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which was “exceptional for its elegance, but even more so for the emotional arc that he created from beginning to end” (Seen and Heard International); and a set of Debussy (“Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut” from Images, Book II, and L’isle Joyeuse) where he “created the hypnotic, static beauty in the former and revealed the joyful sense of motion and ecstasy in the latter” (Onstage NTX).
His Cliburn prize builds on an already impressive resume. He has garnered top prizes and awards at, among others, the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition (Spain 2018), the Leeds International Piano Competition (Great Britain 2021), and the Bösendorfer USASU (U.S.A. 2019). He has collaborated with renowned orchestras, such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, RTVE Symphony, Seongnam Philharmonic, Ukraine National Symphony, Castilla y León Symphony, Liechtenstein Symphony, and Dominican Republic National Symphony Orchestra, working with conductors Andrew Manze, Marin Alsop, Nicholas McGegan, Oksana Lyniv, and others. His performances in major halls and festivals – among them, the Kissinger Sommer, Verbier Festival, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Wigmore Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Carnegie Hall, and Teatro Colón Buenos Aires – have made a lasting impression on his musical development. Also a devoted chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Quartetto di Cremona, Calidore String Quartet, violinists Rudens Turku and Jack Liebeck, clarinetist Sharon Kam, and violist Nils Mönkemeyer.
Highlights from Dmytro’s 2022–2023 inaugural tour as Cliburn medalist include Beethovenfest Bonn, the Duszniki International Chopin Piano Festival (Poland), Salle Cortot (Paris), and Palau de la Música (Barcelona); concertos with the Hamburger Camerata and Silesian Philharmonic; and a recital tour across the United States.
Dmytro’s debut album was released by Naxos in 2020; it received a “Supersonic Award” from Pizzicato and was highly acclaimed by the international critics, one raving he “could be one of the 21st century’s most outstanding pianists” (David’s Review Corner).
Dmytro Choni began piano in his native Kyiv when he was four years old. After a particularly meaningful performance at the age of 14, which he calls “a turning point,” his lifelong journey of professional musicianship began. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine under the guidance of Yuri Kot, then moved to Austria in 2015 to study with Milana Chernyavska at the Kunstuniversität Graz. In March, he told the Fort Worth Report that music is “always kind of a hideaway from what’s going on in the world. Through the music, you can try to project the best possible emotion, the optimism, the hope.”