SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Korea Bizwire) - Cho Seong-jin, the first South Korean to win the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition, said Monday the top honor was a means to an end, not an end in itself.
“Winning the contest was a means to achieve my dreams, not an end,” he told reporters on the eve of his first concert back in South Korea since rewriting the country’s music history. “I’m still 21, and who knows how long I will live. I’m just getting started.”
The 20-something prodigy won the world’s top piano competition in October.
Cho had been touring around the world since the competition in Poland. He arrived in South Korea Monday afternoon after a concert in Japan.
“I try to treat every concert, small or big, the same, but I’m nervous and excited about my performance tomorrow, which is a first since the competition,” he said at the Seoul Arts Center where the concert will be held. “I’m always grateful for your support. I hope you continue to take interest in and support me.”
The first batch of his live album released a month after the competition was sold out in less than a week in South Korea.
“I don’t know whether it’s true that more Koreans are taking interest in classical music (since the competition), but if so, that’s great news for a classical performer,” he said. “It’s strange and amazing how much attention I received after the contest.”
Cho will release five albums under a five-year contract with the top classical music label Deutsche Grammophon.
He will collaborate with South Korean maestro Chung Myung-whun and the Dresden Staatskapelle orchestra on Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in Dresden, Germany in April.
Four ballads will be recorded in Berlin at an unspecified date.’