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Pianist Cho Seong-jin to play 94-second of never-before-heard Mozart

Pianist Cho Seong-jin (Credia)
Pianist Cho Seong-jin (Credia)

Pianist Cho Seong-jin is set to perform the world premiere of a previously unknown work by Mozart, 248 years after it was composed, in celebration of the great musician’s 265th birthday.

Cho will perform Mozart’s Allegro in D major K626b/16 as part of the Digital Mozart Week organized by the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation on Wednesday, in Austria, according to German classical music record label Deutsche Grammophon. The performance will be streamed through the label’s streaming platform -- DG Stage – as well as on and

The 94-second unfinished composition is said to be written by 17-year-old Mozart in early 1773 when he returned from his third tour of Italy or soon after he returned to Salzburg, according to the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation.

The unfinished score -- written on both sides of a single manuscript sheet -- was unearthed when the foundation purchased a collection of scores owned by an individual in 2018. The foundation’s staff and experts from the US and Germany have verified the piece’s authenticity.

“It is a great honor to be invited to give the premiere of a formerly unknown work by Mozart in the city where he was born and where it may have been written,” Cho said through Deutsche Grammophon.

American pianist Robert Levin was slated to perform the piece, but travel restrictions in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic meant Cho, who is based in Europe, will go onstage instead.

The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation runs Mozart Week every January in celebration of the musician’s birthday. This year’s event will be held without any in-person audience.

Aside from the recently rediscovered piece, Cho will perform three other Mozart works, including Piano Sonata No. 12, Pimpinella and Allegro in C major.

In 2018, Cho released an album featuring works by Mozart under the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Celebrating Mozart’s 265th birthday, a facsimile edition of the rediscovered piano piece is set for publication on Wednesday.

By Im Eun-byel (
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Korea Herald daum