November 25, 2017

Korean pianist Ji signs exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics

The young pianist who blew everyone away at the GRAMMYs recorded Bach's Goldberg Variations as label debut.

Warner Classics has signed an exclusive recording contract with the South Korean pianist known simply as Ji.

Already a star in his native Korea, Ji came to international attention before a televised audience of millions in the highly unconventional Android® commercial that premiered during the 2016 Grammy® Awards. His ‘monotune’ performance of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on dual pianos was so compelling that People Magazine declared Ji “the real star of the Grammys”.

The Korean-born, Juilliard-trained pianist is very much a classical musician for the 21st century. The youngest musician ever to win the New York Philharmonic’s Young Artists Competition at just 10 years of age, he went on to claim the First Prize in the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He aims to bring a fresh, unique approach to classical music, equally at home in Bach and Beethoven as he is in collaborations with contemporary dancers and electro/house music producers.

Now 26 years old, Ji has recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations for his Warner Classics debut, set to be released in January 2018. The album follows a series of highly acclaimed recitals in which he presented the Goldberg Variations alongside works from Chopin, Schumann and Ravel to more experimental fare such as Henry Cowell and John Cage.

“It is such a thrill for me to join the Warner Classics family, but what I am truly excited about is what we can do together to shape the future of classical music,” says Ji. “The process of making this album has not been just about me or the music, but it has been a collective effort from so many different people who believed in me and the music, and shared their talents to make this record a piece of art all on its own. Playing this music has taught me to open up my mind; to remind myself constantly to put myself in others’ shoes; it’s music that continues to connect souls.”

Jean-Philippe Rolland, Executive Vice-President International A&R and Business Development of Warner Classics & Erato, added: “Ji is respectful of the pianistic musical heritage, yet open-minded when it comes to turning traditional formats topsy-turvy; Ji’s dauntlessness is commensurate with the arsenal of musicality and virtuosic technique at his service.”


Ji portrait