Chopin competition winner focuses on art

by Keijiro Ohata

Staff Writer

These days the road to fame often starts with a viral video on YouTube, but Korean pianist Seong-jin Cho took the classic route — he won a music competition.

The 21-year-old winner of the international Frederic Chopin piano competition, told the press at the Polish Embassy in Tokyo last week that he was still getting used to his newfound fame.

“At the moment (I won) I couldn’t understand what I achieved,” Cho said, admitting it didn’t hit him until the praise started coming in.

“Being famous is fascinating, but for me, being a great musician is more important,” he said. “I will just practice harder and harder.”

Seong-jin Cho plays the Tokyo Opera City concert hall in Shinjuku Ward on Nov. 23 (7 p.m. start; ¥6,000-¥12,000). For details, visit

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