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Seong-Jin Cho, St John's Smith Square, London / theartsdesk

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It's always heartening to see a full house for a debut recital, though when expectations run so high, the stakes for the pianist can be dangerously raised. No worries at St John's Smith Square, though, for Seong-Jin Cho, the International Chopin Competition winner. The diminutive, young South Korean musician who took the platform in front of a capacity crowd last night made waves last autumn upon winning the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and his first recording (on DG) likewise whetted appetites for his first visit to the Southbank Centre's International Piano Series, which is currently being held at St John's while the Queen Elizabeth Hall is closed for refurbishing.

Cho offered an all-Chopin programme, unsurprisingly (more surprising is that the series is presenting three all-Chopin recitals in a row – still, it's great that people like Chopin so much). This was a taster-menu approach, with one item apiece from seven different genres, but that made for good contrasts. And what emerged was playing that increased incrementally in sophistication and poetry with the musical challenges of the works. At his finest, Cho's mix of imagination, pacing, balance and control produced moments of spellbinding sonic art.