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When it comes to Chopin, pianist Seong-Jin Cho keeps his playing 'pure'

Christoph Köstlin / Deutsche Grammophon
Pianist Seong-Jin Cho

In 2015, pianist Seong-Jin Cho won the International Chopin Competition for young artists—five years ago, he released his first full album of Frederic Chopin's music for Deutsche Grammophon, and now he has a second album of Chopin out.

Seong-Jin Cho says he feels more "free" with Chopin's music this time around on an album that pairs four scherzi by Chopin with the Concerto in F minor.

The concerto, first to be written by Chopin but second to be published, was composed by Chopin when he was 19 years old.

"The piece is about love, but Chopin was very young, so I think it has to be pure. So I always keep that in mind when I play this piece," said Cho in a recent Zoom interview with TPR.

Like most touring musicians, Seong-Jin Cho's performances were cancelled in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic held the world in its grip. Last month, he began touring again, playing dates in Korea, and soon begins travel to the United States and Europe.

After a year of online concerts, Cho says he's glad to get the feedback of a live audience.

"There's a certain energy on the stage or at the concert hall," he said. "I realized that this energy is very important for me."

Seong-Jin Cho's performance schedule brings him to Texas on March 11, 2022 with a concert at the Wortham Center in Houston. His new album, "Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2; Scherzi" is available now.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.