Photo: Sussie Ahlburg
Photo: Sussie Ahlburg

A shy 19-year-old from Southend seems destined to become one of the great pianists of the 21st century. Indeed, if you were to listen blind to Benjamin Grosvenor’s debut album of works by Chopin, Liszt and Ravel, you might think that he already belongs in this category. Benjamin, the youngest of five brothers, is a student at the Royal Academy of Music. What on earth can it teach him? He has already played at the Proms; his recorded Chopin produces a balance of whispering delicacy and bravura outbursts – bound together with fierce intelligence – rarely heard since the heyday of Horowitz. He may still be a teenager, but it would be an insult to describe him as a prodigy. He is better than that.

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