With an overwhelming talent and innate musicality, Seong-Jin Cho has made his mark as one of the consummate talents of his generation. His thoughtful and poetic, assertive and tender, virtuosic and colorful playing combines panache with purity and is driven by an impressive natural sense of balance.
Cho came 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. His first DG recording, released in November 2016, featured 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 K. 281 and K. 332 and the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. All albums won impressive critical acclaim worldwide. Cho’s latest album, 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 Cho’s 2020-21 season included his return to the Berlin Philharmonic with Ivan Fischer and debuts with the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev. A highly sought-after soloist, Cho embarked 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.
A much in-demand recitalist, Cho performs in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including the main stage of Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterd, Berliner Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal, 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 upcoming season, he gives debut solo recitals at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Festspielhaus Bregenz, Victoria Hall Geneva and Wigmore Hall.
Born in 1994 in Seoul, Cho started learning the piano at the age of 6 and gave his first public recital at 11. In 2009, he became the youngest-ever winner of Japan’s Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. In 2011, at 17, he won third prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. From 2012 to 2015, he studied with Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Cho is now based in Berlin.