The Korea Herald


Pianist Cho Seong-jin "The Handel Project" tops Billboard's weekly classical album chart

By Park Ga-young

Published : March 17, 2023 - 12:00

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Pianist Cho Seong-jin's sixth full-length album, Pianist Cho Seong-jin's sixth full-length album, "The Handel Project," released by Deutsche Grammophon on Feb. 3. (DG)

South Korean pianist Cho Seong-Jin’s latest album, The Handel Project, has topped Billboard's Traditional Classical Albums weekly chart this week, according to the US magazine’s chart.

The Handel Project, released on February 3, is a collection of three suites from Handel's first collection of Suites de pièces pour le clavecin, which are some of Cho's favorite pieces of music. The album also features Brahms's Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, a piece that Cho describes as "the best variations that have ever been written."

Cho’s album is the third by a Korean classical musician to have ranked No.1 on the chart. In 2012, pianist Lim Hyun-jung took the top spot with her debut album "Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas." Sunwoo Ye-kwon also took the same spot with "Cliburn Gold 2017: 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.”

The 29-year-old pianist rose to international acclaim after winning the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, becoming the first Korean to do so.

In 2016, he made his official studio recording debut under the Deutsche Grammophon label with Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1. In August 2021, the Berlin-based musician recorded Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with the London Symphony Orchestra led by the Italian maestro Gianandrea Noseda.

The Handel Project is his sixth full-length album.

Meanwhile, Cho, one of the most celebrated Korean pianists, will appear on the popular entertainment show tvN's "You Quiz on the Block," hosted by top comedians Yoo Jae-suk and Cho Se-ho. This will mark his first-ever appearance on a variety show.

In a trailer released on Wednesday, Cho said he was reluctant to appear on entertainment shows “because I’m not a funny person and I'm afraid I'll be a nuisance." The episode will air later this month.