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21-Year-Old Seong Jin Cho Becomes 1st Korean To Win International Chopin Piano Competition

By Tamar Herman | October 23, 2015 11:03 AM EDT

A young Korean pianist made history at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.

21-year-old Seong Jin Cho became the first Korean to ever win the prestigious competition, where he competed against 77 other young pianists from 20 countries. Cho is the third pianist representing an Asian country to ever take first place in the competition.

Cho performed Chopin's Piano Concerto in E minor, Opus 11 for his final performance during the multi-week long competition.

As well as a prize of 30,000 Euros ($33,600 USD,) the prestige of winning the Chopin Piano Competition has helped numerous major pianists launched their careers over the years.

Britain's BBC News spoke to Cho after the final results were announced, and he said that he was "not so nervous" during his final performance during the competition.

"It became my dream to participation in the competition," Cho said after finding out that he had won. "I cannot believe this moment."

Cho currently studies at the Paris Conservatory.

In addition to winning the first place prize, Cho also was awarded the Fryderyk Chopin Society Prize for best performance of a polonaise.

Canada's Charles Richard-Hamelin won the silver medal, while the United States' Kate Liu came in third.

The 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition began on Oct.3 in Warsaw and lasted three weeks.

The competition was inaugurated in 1927, and is held every five years.

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Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy, Noisey, and Paste Magazine.

Tagged :  seong jin cho, chopin piano competition

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