“To hear Cho breathe tenderness and freedom into this music while giving it a sturdy rhythmic profile was a striking thing”
San Francisco Chronicle
With an overwhelming talent and innate musicality, Seong-Jin Cho has made his mark as one of the consummate talents of his generation and most distinctive artists on the current music scene. His thoughtful and poetic, assertive and tender, virtuosic and colourful playing can combine panache with purity and is driven by an impressive natural sense of balance.
Seong-Jin Cho was brought to the world’s attention in 2015 when he won the First Prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. In January 2016, he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The first recording was released in November 2016 featuring Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda as well as the Four Ballades. A solo Debussy recital was released in November 2017, followed in 2018 by a Mozart album featuring Sonatas K281 and K332 and the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. All albums won impressive critical acclaim worldwide. Cho’s latest album on the Yellow Label, titled The Wanderer and released in May 2020, features Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy, Berg’s Piano Sonata op. 1 and Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor.
Highlights of Seong-Jin Cho’s 2020/21 season include his return the Berliner Philharmoniker with Andris Nelsons and debuts with the Münchner Philharmoniker, and Valery Gergiev and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Tugan Sokhiev. A highly sought-after touring soloist, Cho embarks on several international tours, including those with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and Gustavo Gimeno and the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Ivan Fischer. Recent and upcoming orchestral highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, Boston Symphony Orchestra with Hannu Lintu, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Manfred Honeck, Mahler Chamber Orchestra with Jakub Hrůša and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with Jaap Van Zweden.
An active recitalist very much in demand, Seong-Jin Cho performs in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including the main stage of Carnegie Hall as part of the Keyboard Virtuoso series, Concertgebouw Amsterdam in the Master Pianists series, Berliner Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal (Berliner Philharmoniker concert series), Konzerthaus Vienna, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles, Prinzregententheater Munich, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Festival International de piano de la Roque d’Anthéron, Verbier Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Rheingau Musik Festival. During the coming season he gives debut solo recitals at the Mozarteum Salzburg, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Victoria Hall Geneva and Wigmore Hall, and embarks on a recital tour through Korea with concerts at the Seoul Arts Center and Busan Cultural Center amongst many others.
Born in 1994 in Seoul, Seong-Jin Cho started learning the piano at the age of six and gave his first public recital aged 11. In 2009, he became the youngest-ever winner of Japan’s Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. In 2011, he won Third Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of 17. From 2012-2015 he studied with Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and is now based in Berlin.