Born in 1978, Yiruma started playing piano at the age of five, and moved to London when he was 10 to study at the Purcell School of Music, followed by King's College, London. He released his first album Love Scene on Universal Music in 2001, aged 23. That same year, he released the follow-up First Love which included the No.1 hit ‘River Flows in You', described as "the ‘Clair de lune' of the 21st century" (Classic FM). In 2002, Yiruma's arrangement of ‘When Love Falls' was also included on the soundtrack to Winter Sonata – the drama which started the sensation now known as the Korean wave. In the years that followed, Yiruma's repertoire grew and his career flourished, from sell-out live performances and international tours, to hosting his own radio shows. He has written more than 200 pieces to date, earning over two billion streams. His music is often featured in classical charts – in March 2020, Yiruma scored a No.1 album in the US Billboard Classical chart. Yiruma remains an inspiration for young pianists across the globe thanks to his uplifting, emotional and beautiful melodies. His compositions are also available as sheet music, encouraging fans to nurture their own musicality.
South Korean pianist and composer Yiruma is celebrating 20 years since his debut album with a new recording, The Rewritten Memories, out now via Universal Music Group Korea. It features brand-new orchestral arrangements of some of his best-loved works from the past two decades, including the globally popular ‘River Flows In You' – dubbed "the ‘Clair de lune' of the 21st century" (Classic FM) – and ‘Kiss The Rain'.
The Rewritten Memories is Yiruma's first orchestral studio album and features the composer himself on piano. "It was a challenging yet interesting experience," he says, describing the recording of the album with the Korean Symphony Orchestra during the Covid-19 pandemic. "The entire orchestra members couldn't gather simultaneously and had to record part by part." Yet the opportunity to collaborate with so many musicians was a refreshing change for Yiruma, who, like most composers, usually writes alone.
The Korea Times Park Ji-won writes....In addition to Cho and Yiruma, renowned pianists Lang Lang, Balmorhea, Jan Lisiecki, Maria Joao Pires, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Rudolf Buchbinder, Daniil Trifonov, Katia & Marielle Labeque, Joep Beving, Alice Sara Ott, Kit Armstrong, Rui Massena and Chad Lawson will play iconic classics and contemporary works, Universal Music said in a press release.
Cho will play Chopin's Impromptu No. 1, while Yiruma provides his three pieces, including the romantic "Room with a View." Last year, Cho appeared in a livestreamed concert from home to mark the day amid the pandemic. He performed with baritone Matthias Goerne.
World Piano Day was founded in 2015 by German musician Nils Frahm. It takes place on the 88th day of every year, symbolizing the number of keys on a full-sized piano.
Under the theme, "Abandoned Pianos," the 150-minute video showing up to 17 pianists will be available free on Deutsche Grammophon's (DG) YouTube channel for 72 hours after its release, showing them performing in multiple concert halls this year that had not been used due to the hiatus created by the infectious disease.
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