INSPIRED BY LISZT
BENJAMIN GROSVENOR PLAYS LISZT, RAVEL & BACH-BUSONI
TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2022
VICTORIA CONCERT HALL
“Once again, it was the case that everything Grosvenor touches turns to gold.” (Classical Source)
“He commands the stage with aristocratic ease … Mr Grosvenor makes you sigh with joy … A temperament rare in yesteryear, let alone now.” (The New York Times)
British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor makes a long-awaited return to Singapore! A “one in a million” (The Independent) giant of solo piano, Grosvenor has been heralded one of the most important pianists to emerge from the UK in several decades and is internationally recognised 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.
Franz Liszt, the legendary 19th-century pianist-composer who is the subject of Grosvenor’s latest critically acclaimed recital disc, is represented in this Singapore recital programme, both as composer and as enduring influence on all writings pianistic. Centred around the monumental B minor Sonata, his seminal masterpiece, the programme opens with the famous piano arrangement of Bach’s Chaconne in D minor by Busoni, widely considered Liszt’s greatest successor in the art of piano transcriptions. Ravel, by contrast, was no piano virtuoso, but in writing brilliantly for the instrument, he was clearly indebted to Liszt’s legacy. In the suite Le Tombeau de Couperin, he also channelled the spirit of the Baroque French keyboard suite. The concert closes with Ravel’s La Valse, his swirling take on the Viennese waltz with an extraordinarily difficult climax so deliciously delirious that Liszt would surely have approved.
BACH-BUSONI – Chaconne in D minor (from Partita No. 2, BWV 1004)
LISZT – Piano Sonata in B Minor, S. 178
RAVEL – Le Tombeau de Couperin
RAVEL – La Valse
(Programme subject to change at the artist's discretion)
BENJAMIN GROSVENOR, piano
“Simply phenomenal... the young pianist showed why he has long been hailed as one of the world's finest in his field... Grosvenor impressed with measure, taste and buoyant grandeur" (Süddeutschen Zeitung)
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 has been heralded one of the most important pianists to emerge from the UK in several decades.
His 22/23 season begins with Prokofiev‘s Piano Concerto No. 3 with RSO Wien conducted by Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms. He is ’Artist in Focus’ at The Sage Gateshead, and performs three projects across the season with the Philharmonia Orchestra, including both Chopin Piano Concerti and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Nicola Benedetti.
Other concerto highlights of the 22/23 season include engagements with KBS Symphony and Myung-Whun Chung (Chopin 1), touring with the London Philharmonic and their Chief Conductor Edward Gardner, Orchestra of St Luke’s at Carnegie Hall (Mendelssohn 1), Auckland Philharmonia, Prague Radio, Bern, San Diego and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Orchestre de Lyon with Leonard Slatkin.
In recital, Grosvenor makes gives his debut at the Luxembourg Philharmonie, in Mainz as part of the SWR2 Internationale Pianisten series and Oldenburg. He also returns to the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Wigmore Hall, Sage Gateshead, Kennedy Centre, Washington and embarks on a tour of Latin America including returns to Sao Paolo and Montevideo. A keen chamber musician, regular collaborators include Hyeyoon Park, Timothy Ridout, Kian Soltani – whom he appears with at Cologne Philharmonie, and the Doric String Quartet with whom he tours the USA in Spring 2023.
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. 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.” His renewal of the Decca partnership in 2021 coincided with the release of Benjamin’s latest album Liszt, centred around the composer’s Sonata in B minor, which was awarded ‘Chocs de l’année’ and Prix de Caecilia.
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.
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 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.