Intense reflection and expressive insight are among the attributes cultivated by Seong-Jin Cho, qualities apt to connect with audiences at the deepest levels of imagination and emotion. The award-winning pianist has won widespread public and critical acclaim for his mature musicianship and refined artistry in an extensive range of repertoire. He has received equal praise for his eloquent readings of concertos and larger-scale solo works by composers from Mozart to Shostakovich.
Born in Seoul in 1994, Cho began playing piano at the age of six and gave his first public performance at eleven. In 2008, he won the Sixth Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists and the following year took First Prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan. In 2011 he came third at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and moved to Paris in 2012 to study with Michel Béroff at the Conservatoire. Coming in third at the 2014 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, he also secured concerto dates with leading conductors and orchestras.
It was in 2015, however, that the South Korean pianist was catapulted to fame when he won First Prize at the 17th Chopin International Piano Competition and the all-Chopin album of competition performances was propelled to the No. 1 spot in the Korean pop chart on the strength of pre-release orders alone. Having secured triple platinum sales in Korea within a week of its release, it rapidly went on to attract a worldwide following. Cho is now based in Berlin and signed an exclusive contract with DG in 2016. He continues to perform on a regular basis with such eminent figures as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Myung-Whun Chung, Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Petrenko, Mikhail Pletnev, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Yuri Temirkanov, and major international orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent highlights include his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker, with whom he performed in Munich and Hamburg under Valery Gergiev; a recital tour of South Korea; and the world premiere of a recently discovered piano work by Mozart, the Allegro in D, performed in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation.