(De Standaard, 2017)
“It was to be feared that Cho's sound would be a little too slim for Shostakovich. Fear unfounded: the American put down a beautifully sonorous, clearly controlled and supreme rendition. Paces were perfect, nuances worked together smoothly, colors were carefully selected. There's no doubt about Cho's craftsmanship: his left hand danced virtuosically over the fingerboard and the tip of his bow possessed enough power to push a nail gently into the floor…”
Queen Elisabeth Competition: Brannon Cho, ruler of Shostakovich
(La Libre, 2017)
“…In the semifinal, Cho gave a superb performance of Prokofiev's sonata in C major. His choice of Shostakovich's first concerto confirms his affinity with the particular cultural universe of Russian music of the twentieth century.
The Allegretto is approached in the same combative mode as the imposed Hosokawa. The young American always leads courageously, but we also find in his playing a quiet and serene strength. His Moderato is superb in intensity, with great economy of means and true poetry, supported with the ideal discretion by Denève and his troops. The great cadenza is linked without breathing, and we remain fascinated by the contrast between the inner peace that seems to irrigate the face of the candidate and the drops of perspiration flowing quietly along his ears. His technique is sovereign, and the return of the orchestra for the final Allegro is a great moment, prelude to a flamboyant finale…”
The tension remained in the Paulo Cello Competition-
Brannon Cho secured his winnings in his final performance.
(Helsinki Sanomat, 2018)
“The thrill remained at the end of the Paulo Cello Competition, where six finalists played with Susanna Mälkki as the solemn soloist with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
When the last finalist, US BRANNON CHO, started playing Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante, his victory began to appear swiftly apparent…”
Cello Tells Stories
(Rondo Classic magazine, 2018)
"The technical and musical foundation is iron-solid, now Paulo Cello Competition winner BRANNON CHO wants to concentrate on communicating his messages to the public.
American Brannon Cho won the Paulo Cello Competition in October - at the end, it was no surprise, but the high level still left the options open before the end. We heard the Prokofiev in the final round three times with the Helsinki Philharmonic, and Cho was clearly the best in his honest and imaginative playing…"
Behind the scenes with Brannon Cho
“We are thrilled to introduce you to Brannon Cho, First Prize Winner of the 2018 Paulo International Cello Competition. In this conversation Brannon takes us behind the scenes offering insight into his preparation, mindset, and aspirations…”
Paulo Cello Competition winner Brannon Cho received spontaneous applause from the public
(Helsinki Sanomat, 2018)
“US Brannon Cho played so well that the first prize seemed to be self-evident in advance…US Brannon Cho played the solo part of Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante in such a magical, religious, and beautiful manner that it seemed obvious that he was the number one in the Paulo Cello Competition…”
Brannon Cho played the most beautiful Prokofiev - and won the Paulo Cello Competition and 20,000 euros
“When Cho played Haydn's Cello Concerto no. 1 in the first final round with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Hagalund on Tuesday, HBL critics described his playing as perfect, with full control of the situation. At the Musiikkitalo on Thursday, Brannon Cho was the final musician to interpret Sergei Prokofiev's powerful Sinfonia Concertante with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and chief conductor Susanna Mälkki.
In the final round, all three interpretations of Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante were heard and in many ways one can say that Cho’s was the best and most beautiful. He impressed from the first moment in his search for shades, characters and different qualities. The playing was always alive and interesting to listen to. Cho also showed that he clearly understood the difference between when he was the solo and when he only accompanied the orchestra…”
Concert: Brannon Cho presented purity and ruthless technical skill
(Kuovola Sanomat, 2019)
“Kymi Sinfonietta is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. During these years, the players have developed into a quality orchestra that offers the audience an inspiring experience.
The highlight of the season's opening concert was Brannon Cho, winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition . His sovereign skill gave the concert a valuable look…”
A gifted young cellist and rough-edged Bruckner with the Boston Civic Symphony
(Boston Classical Review, 2019)
“Playing with verve, tasteful dynamic shading, and a keen sense of Elgar’s musical line, Cho found all sides of this affecting composition. Perfectly tuned double stops added depth to his lyrical phrases, and the passages that carried his fingers high onto the fingerboard managed to sound with dramatic weight.
Cho tossed off the agitated theme of the second movement with abandon to make this music briefly into a showpiece. But Elgar’s score is ultimately one of tender expression, and Cho colored and varied his tone to imbue the melody of the third movement with a palpable sense of longing. He carried the emotional tension into the finale, where, with mahogany tone, he laid bare the pent-up sadness etched into the soaring melodies…”
The Center for Musical Excellence (CME) presents Brannon Cho in Review
(New York Concert Review, 2019)
“There was none of the coughing or fidgeting from the audience that one often hears/sees in a work of this type – indeed, their attention was locked to the stage with utter silence. This listener was completely transfixed, experiencing the joy, the innocence, and the nightmares, as if privy to a particularly emotional therapy session. To convey this musically was something extraordinary. It was my favorite performance of the evening, and it is still resonating in my mind as I write these lines.”
Brannon Cho joins Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation
(Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation, 2020)
“The Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation supports exceptionally talented young violin, viola, cello and contrabass soloists. Scholarship recipients are personally selected by Anne-Sophie Mutter. She is assisted by an artistic council consisting of cellist Lynn Harrell. There is no competition for acceptance to the scholarship program. Applications are accepted all year round and are evaluated as soon as possible…At the moment, the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation supports seven scholarship students from the USA, Europe and Asia. Since 1997, 30 young musicians have been supported and six instruments financed from the Foundation’s capital.”
Brannon Cho records Britten Solo Suite no. 1 at Guarneri Hall
(Guarneri Hall, 2020)
“Experience the dissonance in this excerpt from Brannon Cho's stunning performance of Britten First Suite for Cello, captured on video by Grittani Creative. The full video premiered on September 16th as part of the NEXUS Chamber Music Season 2.5 Virtual Festival.”
The Janos Starker Foundation awards Brannon Cho the 2020 Janos Starker Award
(Janos Starker Foundation, 2020)
"It’s an incredible honor to receive the award in memory of Janos Starker, who was one of the first cellists to lead my heart and soul to the cello, and whose recordings continue to inspire my imagination as a cellist. I will always strive to uphold the standard of excellence that he pioneered."
Rendering Warhorses with Apollonian Clarity
(Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2021)
“The highlight came during the Adagio. Lu captured the eroticism and sublimity in the melody, joined and woven into great peaks of expression by Cho. There is really something to be said about the gorgeous tone of Cho’s 1668 Casini cello, his delicate treble, heldentenor middle register, and grippingly resonant bass.”
Rising Hope for Rising Stars
(Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2021)
“Violinist YooJin Jang and cellist Brannon Cho adeptly took on this daunting work with great skill. Jang and Cho brought individual personalities in their opening while also sleekly becoming one voice…With raw directed ferocity, momentum is spawned by the soloists; and at times, the cellist Cho seemed to be feeding off Jang’s relentless energy… the performers’ enthusiastic drive provided a refreshing rendition.”
Music Flows from Person to Person, cellist Brannon Cho
(Auditorium Magazine, 2022)
“The fifth movement, 'Praise for the Eternity of Jesus', was a performance by the cello and piano. Cho’s performance was absolutely impressive, drawing the crescendo of dozens of bars with an unwithering vision even in the high registers…one could feel the development of the sound as a transcending pulse into another world.”
Brilliant start for Eggenfelden Klassisch
(Passauer Neue Presse, 2022)
“…But cello soloist Brannon Cho was sensational - an absolutely exceptional talent, now a star of the young string scene worldwide. From the first note, he captivated the audience, he played professionally as well as passionately and elegantly,..The reward from the audience was a roaring applause.”