‘...a skill and talent not heard since Kissin’s teenage Russian debut (...) Benjamin Grosvenor may well be the most remarkable young pianist of our time.’
- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone Magazine
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 ‘skill and talent not heard since Kissin’s teenage Russian debut’ (Gramophone Magazine), 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. Benjamin has worked with numerous esteemed conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Semyon Bychkov, Andrey Boreyko 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 was re-invited 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 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). In 2014, Benjamin appeared twice at the BBC Proms. After his performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda, the Times stated that the “22 year old pianist’s playing was exactly as Chopin’s own was described... elegant, fluent and graceful, possessing brilliance and clarity”. During his Chamber Music recital, Benjamin premiered the new commission Day Break Shadows Flee, composed by the Master of Queen’s Music, Judith Weir (CBE).
Recent and future highlights include engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco, Houston and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Orquesta de Euskadi, as well as recital debuts at the Boston Celebrity Piano Series, Club Musical de Québec, Vienna Konzerthaus and Southbank Centre, London. Benjamin continues to incorporate chamber music collaborations into his schedule, including a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall’s International Chamber Music Series with the Endellion String Quartet, alongside further collaborations with the Escher String Quartet and Elias Quartet.
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 most recent 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).
Benjamin’s first recording for Decca includes Chopin’s Four Scherzi and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. Critics have admired 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 ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ (Decca, 2012), 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’, 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, The Andrew Marr Show, CNN’s Human to Hero series and has a three year agreement with EFG International (EFG), the widely respected global private banking group.
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’.