Pianist Benjamin Frith's international solo and chamber music career was launched following several prestigious competition wins. Reaching a broad audience through his recordings, Frith is well-regarded for his sensitivity as a performer. His repertoire, which includes more than 50 concertos, ranges from Bach and Scarlatti to Stravinsky and Tippett. Frith has been a member of the Gould Piano Trio since 1998.
Frith was born in South Yorkshire, England, on October 11, 1957. He began taking piano lessons with Fanny Waterman at age 10. He was encouraged by Waterman to pursue a career after winning the Dudley National Piano Competition in 1972, at age 14. Following his Dudley win, Frith was asked by Peter Pears to play at the Aldeburgh Festival. Frith attended the University of Leeds and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in music. While a student, he took second place at the 1978 London Mozart Players’ Mozart Memorial Prize competition. Frith gained international attention with two major prizes, the first at the 1986 Busoni International Piano Competition, where he shared the top prize with Predrag Muzijevic, and in 1989, he won the gold medal and chamber music prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Israel.
Frith has since toured throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, appearing with major orchestras, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, and Israel Philharmonic, among many others. He has also been a regular guest at festivals, such as the Kfar Blum, King’s Lynn, and Edinburgh; he made a big impression in his debut at Edinburgh in 1992 with a performance of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. A long-time chamber music enthusiast, Frith joined the Gould Piano Trio in 1998, and in 2001, he founded the Frith Piano Quartet with violinist Robert Heard, violist Louise Williams and cellist Richard Jenkinson. He regularly performs piano duos with Peter Hill and has been a featured guest with the Endellion, Dante, and Elias String Quartets, among others.
Frith's expansive recording catalog features many examples of his solo, concerto, and chamber activities. His recording career began with a 1991 ASV release containing Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, and he has since recorded the complete piano music of John Field and Felix Mendelssohn. With the Gould Piano Trio, he has completed a complete cycle of Beethoven's piano trios and has future aspirations to record a survey of Schubert's piano trios. Frith was featured in several releases in 2020, including piano trios by Clarke, Ives, and Beach, with the Gould Piano Trio, and Beethoven's works for piano four hands, with Hill.
© Keith Finke /TiVo