Pianist Cho Seong-jin to perform with Berlin Philharmonic this week in Seoul

November 10, 2023

Cho Seong-jin will perform with the Berlin Philharmonic on Sunday in Seoul, his third collaboration with the orchestra, the pianist said Friday.

Cho, the winner of the 17th Chopin International Piano Competition in 2015, will join the orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4. on the orchestra’s second day of its Asia Tour.

“It’s been six years since my first collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic. It was also in November, of which I still have a vivid memory. How time flies,” Cho said during a press event Friday.

“I am so excited and happy to do my third collaboration with it, which I think is really one of the best and makes very special sounds,” he said.

“I like collaborating with it, particularly because I live in Berlin and have a lot of musician friends there,” he added.

“This is the beginning of a hopefully longer and very successful journey,” Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of the orchestra since 2019, said of its Asia tour.

“I have a lot of dreams to make relative to this orchestra … I hope we will have a lot of time together on tours to make our common dreams to come through in front of the public,” he added.

Cho will be the Berlin Philharmonic’s second-ever Asian artist-in-residence next year.

“I’ve known him for many, many years and I think he is very intuitive, and did a great collaboration with the orchestra when he came for the first time. We don’t offer this residency if we don’t have a very special and strong relation,” Andrea Zietzschmann, the general manager of the orchestra said.

Pianist Cho Seong-jin speaks during a press event at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul on Nov. 10, 2023. (Yonhap)
Pianist Cho Seong-jin speaks during a press event at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul on Nov. 10, 2023. (Yonhap)

On the tour, she said, “We haven’t been here for six years. It’s much too long. We enjoy the audience. I think you have an incredibly young, passionate and also knowledgeable audience. I really hope it doesn’t take another six years we come back to.”

She said there is a very “intense cultural exchange” between South Korea and Germany and was seeing “more and more talents coming from South Korea.”

“I think it is a fantastic development I could observe over the last 10 years and I am also glad to see classical music playing a role in (Korean) society.”

Of the conductor, she said he is “a character who is never satisfied with anything. Not to mention concerts, he has really managed to bring the orchestra to another level, artistically and also in terms of passion on stage.”

The orchestra will perform at the Seoul Arts Center at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.