Benjamin Grosvenor made an impression on audiences as an 11-year-old, becoming the youngest winner of the BBC's Young Musician of the Year in the keyboard division in 2004. His "youngest" distinctions continued to mount as he earned an international reputation performing recitals and as a concerto soloist. Grosvenor was born on July 8, 1992, in Southend-on-Sea, England. He began playing piano at six, studying with his mother. Following his BBC Young Musician win, he attended the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Christopher Elton and Daniel-Ben Pienaar. He was signed to the Decca label in 2011, becoming the label's youngest-ever British musician; he was also the label's first British pianist signed since the 1950s. Grosvenor continued to add to his "youngest" distinctions in 2011 by being the youngest soloist to date to open the BBC Proms concert season. He graduated from the Royal Academy in 2012 with a Queen's Commendation for Excellence; he earned a fellowship at the Academy in 2016. 2016 also saw him earn the first-ever Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize from the New York Philharmonic. Grosvenor's talents have taken him throughout Europe, the U.S., China, and Japan in solo recitals, chamber ensembles, and as a concerto soloist. He's performed with many major orchestras, including the New York and London Philharmonics, Orquesta Nacional de España, and the Boston, Chicago, and Tokyo Symphonies. As a chamber musician, he regularly collaborates with Hyeyoon Park and Timothy Ridout, among others. Grosvenor's 2011 debut album featured the music of Chopin, Liszt, and Ravel. He followed this up with Rhapsody in Blue (2012), Dances (2014), and Homages (2016). In 2020, he was joined by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, led by Elim Chan, on a recording of Chopin's piano concertos.
© Keith Finke & Patsy Morita /TiVo
© Keith Finke & Patsy Morita /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Exceptional Sound Recording
Even at a very young age (he was 22 when this album was released in 2014), British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor had the kind of sound that makes his compatriots roll over and put their paws in the air. It's understated, dry, humorous, and technically unimpeachable. On an album of dances, will some listeners want more oomph in, say, the Chopin Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22? Sure, but on his own terms Grosvenor is indeed impressive, and not just for his age. The opening Bach Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828, is questionable in several ways; the interpretation seems capricious, and, even if you could explain connections conceptually, the work does not feel like it connects to the rest of the program. From there, however, things improve. The smaller works, most of all the Eight valses poéticos of Granados, are marvelously suited to Grosvenor's approach, and the usually splashy Arabesques on Johann Strauss' "By the Beautiful Blue Danube" are brought under control in a delightful way. The Boogie-Woogie Etude of Morton Gould is another effort that may be more satisfying within the U.K. than elsewhere, but for those looking for a savior of British music, Benjamin Grosvenor certainly bears watching. © TiVo