PIANO

Michael Church, 12 January 2013

“an absolutely stunning performance of Britten’s Piano Concerto by Benjamin Grosvenor, whose playing has now gained formidable authority. In this early work, with its clear echoes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, one senses Britten beating his wings experimentally, and Grosvenor found exactly the right blend of fun, fury, and sweet seriousness. His articulation was crystalline, and his characterisation of each movement utterly convincing; a shame it wasn’t recorded.”

THE INDEPENDENT

Geoff Brown, 14 January 2013

‘the British wonder Benjamin Grosvenor’

‘The unshowy Grosvenor coasted across the orchestra’s bustling tapestry with dappled sonorities, limpid arpeggios, poetic insights: thoughtful musicianship, all the way’

THE TIMES

Antony Craig, 15 August 2012

‘the Royal Philharmonic’s concert was packed to the rafters and I put that down to the draw of Grosvenor’

‘fearless and thrilling’

‘A rare talent’

GRAMOPHONE

Gue Dammann, 15 August 2012

“the best moment in this year’s concert came when all were quite silent, listening open mouthed to a red-shirted student pianist make light of the dense tangle of notes into which Leopold Godowski saw fit to weave the melody of Saint-Saens’s Swan. Audience and orchestra alike consumed in rapt delight, and the cavernous Albert Hall seemed to shrink to the proportions of a private salon’

‘Grosvenor’s introverted virtuosity was an excellent fit with Saint-Saens, his account of the work full of fleeting rapture and dark charm, keeping good faith with a composer whose pacing can easily wrong-foot a less thoughtful performer”.

GUARDIAN

JESSICAN DUCHEN, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND BALLET BLOG

Jessica Duchen, 15 August 2012
“Benjamin went for gold”

“the pianist’s voice shone out as a sliver of truth: genuine, unsullied 100-carat musicality. The work’s ferocious technical challenges flew past as though effortless”

“half-hour of world-class pianism.”

GUARDIAN

Richard Fairman, 15 August 2012

“His Saint-Saens concerto alternated between a distant dream world and outbreaks of sparkling effervescence, and his encore – Saint-Saens “The Swan” in Godowsky’s transcription – glided poetically across the keys.”

FINANCIAL TIMES

Latest album, Rhapsody in Blue (Decca 2012):

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Roger Nichols, October 2012

“I can only concur with other critics who hear in his tone and phrasing echoes of a golden age, and that he should count Alfred Cortot and Benno Moiseiwitsch among his idols comes as no surprise: there is the same spaciousness within rhythmic control and the same bell-like sound. For me, his playing of the Godowsky version of Saint-Saens’s Swan is a high point, with its apparently effortless distinction between the many filigree lines and its aristocratic elegance. At the other extreme, Gershwin’s Rhapsody is blue among many other colours. A champagne disc – fizz and finesse”

THE INDEPENDENT
Andy Gill, 11 August 2012

“This second Decca set, piano wunderkind Benjamin Grosvenor programmes Gershwin alongside roughly contemporary pieces by Ravel and Saint-Saëns, but it’s the connection between Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major that gives the album its point.

The latter’s playful, jazzy manner is clearly beholden to Gershwin, particularly in the clarinet and woodwind opening, but Grosvenor and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic achieve a fine balance between its urban bustle and more reflective passages. The version of Rhapsody in Blue is taken from the earliest orchestral transcription, for Paul Whiteman’s band in 1924, and is thus less cluttered and more demotic in style, with more of a swing than in some stiffer, stuffier versions.”

Chopin Liszt Ravel (Decca, 2011):

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Jeremy Siepmann September 2011
“He is a virtuoso who declines the mantle of the virtuoso, every gesture being put exclusively and exhilaratingly at the service of the music. He is devoted without being devout. Grosvenor’s playing exudes joy and spontaneity, seeming to release rather than to interpret the music. He is also a master of mood and atmosphere, with the ability to co-ordinate colour and structure to a rare degree… At 19, Grosvenor is already a pianist of uncommon distinction.”

GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE
Bryce Morrison April 2010
“…these performances by 17-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor exhibit a skill and talent not heard since Kissin’s teenage Russian debut. Even the most outlandish difficulties are tossed aside not just as child’s play but with a seemingly endless poetic finesse and resource.”