Sunday, November 5, 2017 - 3:00 PM
Since his spectacular 2016 debut, this young British pianist’s career has skyrocketed, having performed at Carnegie Hall and with the Cleveland Orchestra. He closes the program with Ravel’s fiendishly difficult work —his incredible recording of which first brought him to our attention.
J.S. Bach: French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816
Brahms: 4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119
Brett Dean: Hommage à Brahms
Debussy: L’après midi d’un faune (arr.)
Berg: Sonata, Op. 1
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit
Tickets may purchased at the door. Box Office opens at 2pm.
All students admitted free with valid ID.
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his sonorous lyricism and understated brilliance at the keyboard. His virtuosic interpretations are underpinned by a unique balance of technical mastery and intense musicality. Grosvenor is regarded as one of the most important pianists to emerge in several decades, with Gramophone recently acknowledging him as one of the top 50 pianists ever on record.
Concerto highlights in the 23/24 season include his much-anticipated debuts with DSO Berlin and Iceland Symphony Orchestra featuring Busoni’s Piano Concerto in the composer’s anniversary year. He also performs with Gurzenich Orchestra and Elim Chan (Prokofiev 3), Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Maxim Emelyanychev (Mendelssohn 1) in their 50th anniversary season, CBSO, Hallé Orchestra, Washington National, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Summer Festivals in 2023 include touring with the EUYO conducted by Manfred Honeck (Prokofiev 3) including Benjamin’s debut at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg.
A celebrated recitalist, this season Grosvenor makes his debut in the Luzerns KlavierFestival ‘Le Piano Symphonique’, where his Liszt-inspired programme features a World Premiere by Brett Dean, which later receives US and UK premieres at Chicago Symphony Master series and the Wigmore Hall respectively. He also gives recitals at Konan Kumin Cultural Center Yokohama, Cologne Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Hong Kong City Hall, Darmstadt, Bridgewater Hall and Sala Verdi, Milan. A keen chamber musician, he tours Japan with violinist Sayaka Shoji and Modigliani Quartet in a programme featuring Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet – including his debut at Suntory Hall, Tokyo. He also tours with his Piano Quartet including regular collaborators include Hyeyoon Park, Timothy Ridout, Kian Soltani – with whom he appears with at numerous venues including the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Laeiszhalle, Hamburg.
Highlights of recent seasons include successful debuts with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Paavo Järvi (Chopin 2), Cleveland Orchestra with Elim Chan (Liszt 1), RSO Wien at the BBC Proms with Marin Alsop (Prokofiev 3), Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev (Beethoven 3 and 4) at the Festival Radio France, varied projects as Artist in Residence at the Sage Gateshead in 22/23 season, the Wigmore Hall in the 21/22 and at Radio France in 20/21. A renowned interpreter of Chopin, in 22/23 season he performed both concerti with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. In recital he has performed at Konzerthaus Berlin, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Frankfurter Hof Mainz as part of the SWR2 International Piano Series, ‘Chopin and his Europe’ Festival in Warsaw, Le Roque, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, Spivey Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y. In July 2023 Grosvenor gave a solo recital at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall featuring Debussy, Liszt and Ravel, upon which the Spectator commented: ‘a genius who has reached the height of his artistic powers and intends to stay there’.
Süddeutsche Zeitung has praised his “astounding technical gifts, the freshness of his imagination, intense concentration, the absence of any kind of show, and the unmistakable sense of poetic immersion directed solely at the realisation of music”. As well as those already mentioned, Benjamin regularly works with such esteemed conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Mark Elder, Kent Nagano, Alan Gilbert, Nathalie Stutzmann, Manfred Honeck, Vladimir Jurowski, François-Xavier Roth and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
In 2011 Benjamin signed to Decca Classics, becoming the youngest British musician ever, and the first British pianist in almost 60 years, to sign to the label. His most recent release in March 2023 of ‘Schumann and Brahms’ featuring Kreisleriana was praised as a ‘masterpiece’ (Le Devoir), selected as Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Diapason d’or. Released in 2020, his second concerto album featuring Chopin’s piano concerti, recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Elim Chan received both the Gramophone Concerto Award and a Diapason d'Or de L’Année, with Diapason's critic declaring that the recording is “a version to rank among the best, and confirmation of an extraordinary artist.” The renewal of his partnership with Decca in 2021 coincided with the release of Benjamin’s album Liszt, which was awarded ‘Chocs de l’année’ and Prix de Caecilia.
He was invited to perform at the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has since become a regular there over the last decade including at the Last Night of the Proms with Marin Alsop and BBC Symphony in 2015 and most recently with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 4 and the Hallé Orchestra. He performed Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto no. 1 with Paavo Järvi in 2020 during the summer of lockdown and invited to play both a solo recital and a concerto in the 2023 Festival.
Grosvenor has received Gramophone’s ‘Young Artist of the Year’, a Classical Brit Critics’ Award, UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent and a Diapason d’Or Jeune Talent Award. He has been featured in two BBC television documentaries, BBC Breakfast, Front Row, as well as in CNN’s ‘Human to Hero’ series. In 2016, he became the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize with the New York Philharmonic.
Following studies at the Royal Academy of Music, he graduated in 2012 with the ‘Queen’s Commendation for Excellence’ and in 2016 was awarded a RAM Fellowship. Benjamin is an Ambassador of Music Masters, a charity dedicated to making music education accessible to all children regardless of their background, championing diversity and inclusion.