updated 02/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST
Miryo Park, 23, made her major concert debut last April in true 42nd Street fashion when pianist Rosalyn Tureck canceled two days before a major benefit at New York's Town Hall. Park, a Juilliard student who placed second in the prestigious Naumburg Competition in 1979, at first declined to fill in because she felt unprepared, then relented when she realized she "couldn't bear to lose the opportunity." Before a full house, the five-foot, 105-pound Miryo performed a program that included the Mozart Sonata in C Major and Schumann's Carnaval. "She was fabulous," recalls Town Hall director Lawrence Zucker. Small wonder: Park, the daughter of a Korean importer and a housewife, had spent a lifetime preparing for the moment. She started playing at 4 and three years later was a soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic ("My feet couldn't even reach the pedals"). At Juilliard, she impressed noted instructor Sascha Gorodnitzki as "a dazzler." In April Park returns to Seoul to perform with the Philharmonic again, but that is merely a walkup to the Olympics of classical music—next June's Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. National Symphony conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has high hopes for her. "She has a brilliant technique," he says. Miryo knows more than that is required. But "being a pianist in the 1980s isn't just practice," she explains. "Sometimes you have to have the guts to get off the bench and take a real chance."