Seong-Jin Cho, pianist
“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 innate musicality and overwhelming talent, Seong-Jin Cho has established himself worldwide as one of the leading pianists 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 First Prize at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, and his career has rapidly ascended since. In January 2016, he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. An artist high in demand, Cho works with the world’s most prestigious orchestras including Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductors he regularly collaborates with include Myung-Whun Chung, Gustavo Dudamel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Simon Rattle, Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Highlights of Seong-Jin Cho’s 2022/23 season include performances of the Brahms piano concerti at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He notably returns to the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons and performs the world premiere of Thierry Escaich’s new piano concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov. A highly sought-after touring soloist, Cho embarks on several international tours, including those with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle to Japan and Korea, with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Myung-Whun Chung in Dresden and in Korea. He also performs with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, touring throughout Germany in Spring 2023.
An active recitalist very much in demand, Seong-Jin Cho appears in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including the main stage of Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Vienna, Prinzregententheater München, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles, Festival International de piano de la Roque d’Anthéron, and Verbier Festival. During the coming season he is engaged to perform solo recitals at the likes of Carnegie Hall, Boston Celebrity Series, Walt Disney Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Liederhalle Stuttgart, at Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Berliner Philharmonie, Musikverein Wien and he debuts in recital at the Barbican London. Cho also returns, three times this season, to Japan where he first appears in recital performances in Nagoya, Tokyo and Yokosuka in August 2022.
Seong-Jin Cho’s latest recording is his solo album entitled The Handel Project, released in February 2023, and in August 2021, he released Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Scherzi with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda for Deutsche Grammophon. He had previously recorded his first album with the same orchestra and conductor featuring Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 as well as the Four Ballades. His solo album titled The Wanderer was released in May 2020 and features Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasy, Berg’s Piano Sonata op. 1 and Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor. A solo Debussy recital was also released in November 2017, followed by a Mozart album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2018. All albums have been released on the Yellow Label and have garnered impressive critical acclaim worldwide.
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. Seong-Jin Cho is now based in Berlin.