– First British pianist to be signed to Decca Classics in nearly 60 years
– Youngest British artist ever to sign to Decca Classics
London, Monday 11 April 2011
Decca Classics is delighted to announce the signing of an exclusive contract with 18-year-old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, who has been described by Jessica Duchen in The Independent as “one in a million – several million” and “a keyboard visionary who knows no bounds” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
In doing so, Benjamin becomes the first British pianist to sign with Decca Classics since Clifford Curzon, Moura Lympany and Peter Katin first graced the label in the 1940s and 50s, and the youngest British musician ever to sign to the legendary British imprint.
At the age of 11 Grosvenor was the youngest ever finalist in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year competition. Having been carefully nurtured since the age of 13 by his management Hazard Chase, he has since achieved critical acclaim worldwide and has now secured a contract with the major label. This makes him the first British musician to sign with Decca Classics since it recently stated its intention to bring homegrown classical talent back to the forefront of its roster.
Paul Moseley, Managing Director of Decca Classics says: ‘This is an enormously significant moment for Decca. As a British company proud of its heritage what could be more satisfying than making this agreement with the most exceptional British pianist to emerge in decades? Benjamin has evolved from a child prodigy to become an artist of extraordinary imagination and flair. Above all, he has a sound that is all his own. The time is now right for this major new step in what will certainly be a long and very successful career. We are thrilled to be part of that and look forward to many landmark projects together.’
Benjamin Grosvenor says:
‘I am very pleased and excited to sign this deal with Decca. It is a great honour to be asked to record for a company with such an illustrious history and which has recorded so many of the musicians that I admire. I am very much looking forward to getting into the studio to record such wonderful repertoire.’
Benjamin’s first recording of Chopin’s Four Scherzi, Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and shorter pieces by Chopin and Liszt will be recorded later this month and released in July. Chopin is one of Benjamin’s greatest passions and his recent all-Chopin recital at LSO St Luke’s received much acclaim … “he has built up a glittering career as both recitalist and concerto performer…the impression we were left with was of the sweetest physical symbiosis between this player and his instrument” (Michael Church, The Independent).
Benjamin first rose to prominence when he won the piano section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2004 at the age of 11. Shortly after, he made his debuts at the Royal Albert Hall, London and Carnegie Hall, New York. He has continued to develop an international presence in Europe, Asia and the USA with performances alongside renowned orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Tokyo Symphony and North Carolina Symphony, with esteemed conductors including Alexander Lazarev and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Benjamin’s debut sell-out performance with the Philharmonia was hailed as “a performance that took its expressive and dramatic cues from the very heart of the music, and in so doing crafted an interpretation of palpable character and astute panache” (Daily Telegraph).
In addition to his extensive concerto schedule, Benjamin is an accomplished recitalist and is a regular at Wigmore Hall and has enjoyed chamber music collaborations with members of the English Chamber Orchestra.
Benjamin is currently in his third year of studies with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has recently been chosen to join the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, which provides regular opportunities with BBC orchestras plus many recital and festival appearances. 2011 highlights for Benjamin include performances at the Wigmore Hall, London, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Snape Maltings, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Gstaad Winter Festival, Brescia and Bergamo Festival and Dvorak Prague Festival, with major additional plans to be announced shortly.