A young pianist from South Korea won the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, which made history as he became the first Korean to ever win the competition. He is also the third pianist representing an Asian country to ever win a gold medal in the competition’s history. Addition to winning the gold prize, he was also awarded the Fryderyk Chopin Society Prize for the best performance of a polonaise. He received a cash prize of £30,000, and also won another €3,000 for the best performance of a polonaise.
The final stage of this year’s competition started on October 1st, and The Grand Finale of the competition started on October 18th and ended on October 23rd. 10 finalists from 8 different countries bettled their way for the gold with all of their performances streamed live on Chopin Institute’s Youtube Channel.
After the results were announced, he told journalists that he had wanted to take part in the competition since the age of 11. He said, ‘It became my dream to participate in the competition and I cannot believe this moment.” He also said that he was out of control in the first round and that he couldn’t remember how he played so he checked on YouTube. However, he said that he was not nervous at all by his final performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor, Opus 11, even though the competition was really tough. He added, “Now I feel a little worried about future concerts. Of course, being famous is also good, but I just want to make good music.”
Seong-Jin Cho was born on May 28th, 1994 in Seoul. He began to play the piano at the age of 6, and had his first public recital when he was 11 years old. He won his first prize in 2008 at the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. Cho also won first prize in the 2009 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition at the age of 15, making him the youngest winner in the competition’s histor. He also has the third prize in the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition and another third prize in the 2014 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition under his belt. He is currenly a student of Michel Beroff at the Paris Conservatoire.