Pianist Seong-Jin Cho will release his new album Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 · Scherzi on 27 August 2021. For Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 Seong-Jin Cho joined the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, a conductor whom he has enjoyed collaborating with for over five years. The digital version of the album will include three bonus solo tracks: the ‘Revolutionary’ Étude, Op. 10 no. 12, Impromptu No. 1, Op. 29 and Nocturne, Op. 9 no. 2. “Chopin’s music is very honest, it reflects his emotional personality and it shows that he was not afraid to communicate that to his audience and to the world,” explained Seong-Jin Cho.
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. The Washington Post noted, “Cho appears to have the musical potential to take his place alongside the greats of the past,” and the Wall Street Journal observed, “Cho is a master.”
Cho won First Prize at the International Chopin Competition
Seong-Jin Cho came to worldwide prominence in 2015 when he won First Prize at the Warsaw International Chopin Competition, the first South Korean pianist to achieve this feat. His technical mastery coupled with his artistic maturity, particularly remarkable given that he was only 21 years old, impressed the jury including the 1970 competition winner Garrick Ohlsson, who praised Cho as a “remarkable, complete young artist”.
In January 2016 Seong-Jin Cho signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Following the success of his first studio album featuring Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, as well as the Four Ballades, Seong-Jin Cho has now realised his wish to release what he considers to be its logical companion – Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the four Scherzi.
“The London Symphony Orchestra and our Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda are delighted to have joined Seong-Jin Cho in the studio to create this wonderful recording of Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 · Scherzi,” said Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. “We’ve enjoyed some memorable concerts together at our Barbican home in the City of London and look forward to many more to come.”
Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 was the second of Chopin’s two concerti to be published, but the first to be written. Although, like most pianists, Cho regards the F minor Concerto as less technically demanding than the E minor, he does not feel this makes it any less challenging. “One has to find the ideal balance,” he explained, “between the music’s passion and drama and its many moments of delicacy and fragility.”
“A soloist of real poise and refinement”
Seong-Jin Cho performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for his BBC Proms debut in 2018, with Noseda conducting the European Union Youth Orchestra and The Observer described Cho as “a soloist of real poise and refinement”.
Although the literal translation of “scherzo” is “joke” a seriousness of purpose and sense of formal concentration permeate Chopin’s four different Scherzi which are also featured on the new recording.
The release of Seong-Jin Cho’s new Chopin album, on 27 August 2021, coincides with his performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Olympic Park in Seoul, with the Korean Symphony Orchestra conducted by Shi-Yeon Sung.
“I would say my relationship with Chopin has matured in the last six years,” said the pianist. “My relationship with his music is very progressive, but it’s not something I can define right now, as I think it’s going to be a lifelong journey. Every time I come back to Chopin, I make new discoveries.”
Seong-Jin Cho’s new album Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 · Scherzi will be released on 27 August 2021 and can be pre-ordered here.