19 Dec 2020

Berliner Philharmoniker
Andris Nelsons

Seong-Jin Cho

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Coriolan, Overture, op. 62 (8 min.)

  • Franz Liszt
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in A major (22 min.)

    Seong-Jin Cho piano

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 (36 min.)

  • free

    Seong-Jin Cho in conversation with Kyoungmin Park (8 min.)

“There are few poets at the piano today – one of them is Seong-Jin Cho,” was the verdict of Simon Rattle after the young Korean made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2017. In December 2020, he played Franz Liszt’s lyrical Second Piano Concerto under the baton of Andris Nelsons. His performance was framed by Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and the momentous Fifth Symphony, which brought the Beethoven anniversary celebrations slowly to a close.

Andris Nelsons is music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (since autumn 2014) and Gewandhauskapellmeister in Leipzig (since February 2018). These two positions resulted in a pioneering alliance between both institutions, marked by joint performances in Boston’s Symphony Hall in autumn 2019 Throughout his career, Nelsons has established regular collaborations with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In addition he regularly conducts performances at the Bayreuther Festspiele and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He has also been a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker since his debut in October 2010.

Born in 1978 into a family of musicians in Riga, he began his career as a trumpeter in the orchestra of the Latvian National Opera before studying conducting in Riga. He became a student of Alexander Titov in St Petersburg; and attended masterclasses with Neeme Järvi and Jorma Panula, Mariss Jansons is his most important mentor. Andris Nelsons was music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007, principal conductor with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford from 2006 to 2009, and from 2008 to 2015 he took on the same role with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Seong-Jin Cho was brought to the world’s attention in 2015 when he won First Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Four years before the Korean pianist had won Third Prize at the Tchaikovsky competition, aged only 17. Born in Seoul in 1994, Seong-Jin Cho started playing the piano at the age of six and gave his first public recital five years later. At the age of 14, he won first prize at the Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition, and a year later the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, being the youngest winner in its history. In 2012, he moved to Paris to study with Michel Béroff at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique from which he graduated in 2015. He is now based in Berlin.

An active recitalist, he performs in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, in Amsterdam, London, Munich and Vienna as well as at the Verbier and Rheingau festivals among others. Seong-Jin Cho has performed as soloist with renowned orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Munich Philharmonic, Philharmonia London, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. He has worked with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Robin Ticciati, Jaap van Zweden, Yannick Nézet-Seguin and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The young pianist made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in November 2017 with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, stepping in for Lang Lang at concerts in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Seoul. In May 2019 he gave a recital in the Chamber Music Hall with works by Schubert, Debussy and Mussorgsky.

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