Program

Johann Sebastian Bach

French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816

Johannes Brahms

4 Klavierstücke, Op. 119

Brett Dean

Hommage à Brahms

Claude Debussy

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (arr. Leonard Borwick/George Copeland)

Maurice Ravel

Gaspard de la nuit

Event Info

Just past his 24th birthday, Benjamin Grosvenor is quickly becoming one of the world’s most decorated young pianists. When he signed to Decca Records in 2011, he became the youngest British musician ever to do so, and since then he has appeared with dozens of major orchestras on five continents. The New York Times writes, “He commands the stage with aristocratic ease … Mr. Grosvenor makes you sigh with joy … a temperament rare in yesteryear, let alone now.” His electrifying performances and understated virtuosity earned him the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Ackman Prize last October, and there’s no question that his legacy will continue to blossom in the coming years. Princeton University Concerts is proud to invite him to make his local debut with a program that highlights his wide expressive range and multidisciplinary musical intelligence, featuring works by Bach, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, and Berg.

About the Artist:

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and insightful interpretations. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities underpins the remarkable depth and understanding of his musicianship. 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) making him one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world.

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 and in 2016 was announced as the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize with the New York Philharmonic. He has performed with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, RAI Torino, Philharmonia Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Tokyo Symphony, and in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Singapore’s Victoria Hall, The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall. Benjamin has worked with numerous esteemed conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Semyon Bychkov, Andrey Boreyko, Sir Mark Elder, Alan Gilbert, Vladimir Jurowski, Andrew Litton, Andrew Manze, Ludovic Morlot, Kent Nagano, Alexander Shelley, Thomas Søndergård, Jac van Steen, John Storgards, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Michael Tilson Thomas and François-Xavier Roth.

At just nineteen, Benjamin performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms. Following re-invitations in 2012 for a performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit and in 2014 for a recital and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda Benjamin appeared in 2015 at the Last Night of the Proms performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.

Recent and future highlights include engagements with the Cleveland and Hallé Orchestras, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta, San Francisco, Singapore, Melbourne, Washington National and KBS Symphony Orchestras. Major recital dates include Vienna Konzerthaus, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin, the Lucerne Festival, La Roque d’Antheron, International Piano Series at the Southbank Centre as well as his first tour of South America. The forthcoming season sees Benjamin embark on new collaborations with the Filarmonica della Scala and Riccardo Chailly, with whom he will perform Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich and François-Xavier Roth, the Orchestra of St Luke’s and Sir Roger Norrington, and with the London Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 under the baton of Alpesh Chauhan.

Benjamin enjoys incorporating chamber music collaborations into his schedule, including performances with the Escher, Elias and Endellion String Quartets, chamber ensembles of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and the Naples Philharmonic, and at venues such as Paris’ Musée du Louvre and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Since the 2015-16 season Benjamin has been invited to participate in the prestigious “Junge Wilde” series by Konzerthaus Dortmund, where over the course of three years he will perform on a number of occasions.

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. Benjamin’s 2014 release Dances, a recital album that presents a historically and stylistically varied offering of works influenced by dance, has been described as ‘breathtaking’ (The Guardian), offering “performance after performance of surpassing brilliance and character” (Gramophone Magazine) and won the BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award 2015. Autumn 2016 sees the release of Benjamin’s third recital disc for Decca, Homages.

During his sensational career to date, Benjamin has received Gramophone’s ‘Young Artist of the Year and ‘Instrumental Award’, a Classic Brits ‘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 and The Andrew Marr Show, as well as in CNN’s Human to Hero series. The youngest of five brothers, Benjamin began playing the piano aged 6. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton and Daniel-Ben Pienaar, where he graduated in 2012 with the ‘Queen’s Commendation for Excellence’ and in 2016 was made a Fellow. Benjamin has been supported since 2013 by EFG International, the widely respected global private banking group.