Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
7:30 pm, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
Twenty-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is already internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and profound interpretations. Gramophone named him 2012 Young Artist of the Year. Renowned for his distinctive sound, Grosvenor is described as “poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch”—The Independent. In his Vermont debut, Grosvenor performs works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Mompou, Medtner, Ravel, and Gounod/Liszt. Professor Greg Vitercik, chair of the music department, offers a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 pm in Room 125. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series.
Reserved Seating. Tickets: $20/15/6. Visit the Box Office for details>>
MENDELSSOHN Andante & Rondo Capriccioso Op.14
SCHUBERT Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op.90_No.3
SCHUMANN Humoreske Op.20
MEDTNER 2 Fairy Tales
RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales
GOUNOD/LISZT Valse de Faust
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and penetrating interpretations. An exquisite technique and ingenious flair for tonal colour are the hallmarks which make Benjamin Grosvenor one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities never compromises the formidable depth and intelligence of his interpretations. Described by some as a ‘Golden Age’ pianist (American Record Guide) and one ‘almost from another age’ (The Times), Benjamin is renowned for his distinctive sound, described as ‘poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch’ (The Independent).
Benjamin first came to prominence as the outstanding winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of eleven. Since then, he has become an internationally regarded pianist performing with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, RAI Torino, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Tokyo Symphony, and in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Singapore’s Victoria Hall, The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall (at the age of thirteen). Benjamin has worked with numerous esteemed conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Semyon Bychkov and Vladimir Jurowski.
At just nineteen, Benjamin performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. Benjamin returned to the BBC Proms in 2012, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit. His performance dazzled critics, with The Financial Times commenting on the way in which “His Saint-Saëns [Concerto No.2] alternated between a distant dream world and outbreaks of sparkling effervescence and his encore - Saint-Saëns 'The Swan' in Godowsky's transcription - glided poetically across the keys” , it “was pure magic” (Jessica Duchen), “exquisite: for pianism’s Team GB, a gold” (The Independent).
Recent and future highlights include engagements with the New York Philharmonic and Andrey Boreyko, the Minnesota Orchestra and Andrew Litton, and recital debuts at the Sydney Opera House, Concertgebouw, Festival de La Roque d’Anthéron, Salle Gaveau, Piano aux Jacobins, National Concert Hall Dublin and the South Bank Centre, London. Benjamin recently gave a highly successful North American tour, including appearances in Vancouver, Washington and New York, where he was labeled a ‘formidable technician and a thoughtful, coolly assured interpreter’ by the New York Times. Benjamin continues to incorporate chamber music collaborations into his schedule, including performances with the Elias String Quartet, Escher String Quartet and Endellion String Quartet. Benjamin has enjoyed working with other members of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, of which he was a member during 2010-2012.
In 2011 Benjamin signed to Decca Classics, and in doing so has become the youngest British musician ever to sign to the label, and the first British pianist to sign to the label in almost 60 years. Recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and James Judd, Benjamin’s most recent recording for Decca includes Saint Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, interspersed with transcriptions by Godowsky and Percy Grainger. The Times has stated that, ‘In an age of ready-made virtuosos, his gifts are already distinctive – poetic, romantic, almost old-school...The Saint-Saëns concerto…fluidly processes from imitation Bach through delicate traceries to grand 19th century gestures’. The recording has been top of the Specialist Classical Charts.
Benjamin’s first recording for Decca includes Chopin’s Four Scherzi and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. Critics have marvelled at Benjamin’s musical character as displayed in this recording; ‘Grosvenor, you can tell, is a Romantic pianist, almost from another age. He doesn't deconstruct, or stand at a distance. He jumps inside the music's soul’ (The Times) and ‘Grosvenor's balance of oratory and ornament, gesture and poetry – evident, too, in Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit – are moving as well as impressive’ (The Observer). Benjamin’s previous recordings include Chopin rarities for the 200th anniversary edition of Chopin’s complete works (EMI, 2010) and a debut solo recording ‘This and That’ (Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound/EMI, 2008).
During his brief, but sensational career to date, Benjamin has received Gramophone’s ‘Young Artist of the Year and ‘Instrumental Award’, the Classic Brits ‘Critics’ Award’ and the UK ‘Critics’ Circle Award’ for Exceptional Young Talent. He has been featured in two BBC television documentaries, BBC Breakfast, The Andrew Marr Show and CNN’s Human to Hero series.
The youngest of five brothers, Benjamin Grosvenor began playing the piano aged 6. In July 2012, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded the 'The Queen's commendation for excellence'. Benjamin has had lessons with Christopher Elton, Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Hough, and Arnaldo Cohen amongst others.
"…a formidable technician and a thoughtful, coolly assured interpreter" --Allan Kozinn, New York Times
"...a skill and talent not heard since Kissin’s teenage Russian debut" --Bryce Morrison, Gramophone Magazine