Photo: Decca/Sophie Wright
"[Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune] Grosvenor’s performance was radiant, supple, sensitive to atmosphere and color, proving Borwick’s arrangement a genuinely worthy, effective transcription of the piece."
- ArtsATL, November 2017
"Grosvenor plays the Grieg, distinctive for its familiar, descending opening chords and packed with beautiful, atmospheric melodies for soloist and orchestral players alike."
- Culture Whisper, November 2017
"the Bach suite immediately displayed Grosvenor’s sensitivity to matters of touch and texture. In his transparent playing, the pianist caught the individual character of each dance movement with ease and intensity from Allemande to Gigue."
-- Classical Voice North America, November 2017
"Benjamin Grosvenor dazzled with an ambitious programme both rangy and highly rewarding ... an incorporeal connection to the instrument, and fingers like a sculptor’s, weaving revelatory interpretations of the music."
- ZealNYC, November 2017
"Grosvenor played it with the glowing intensity and spacious, aristocratic assurance that he brought to this whole recital."
- The Spectator, November 2017
"Grosvenor is a unique creator of sound worlds, attentive and nuanced – a riveting performer with keen musical insights which his effortless and prodigious technique affords … His next visit cannot come soon enough.”
- The WholeNote, November 2017
"Grosvenor’s program ventured to rather distant realms of the standard and contemporary repertoire. Through it all, he showed a commanding technique plus the ability to create a sonic world unique to each piece."
- Albany Times Union, November 2017
"Grosvenor has always had an effortless, fluid and clean technique but, in the balanced and interesting program that he presented, he showed a probing musicianship that enlivened and colored everything."
- The Daily Gazette, November 2017
"Benjamin Grosvenor debuted as one of the best-known English pianists of our time and one of the world’s most sought-after young pianists ... As soon as the 25 year old pianist was seated at the piano, one was already drawn into his magical sound world… The [Bach] French Suite No.5 in G major wholly sparkled with runs and ornamented dance rhythms ... As a blazing finale Ravel’s ‘Gaspard de la nuit’. Grosvenor’s playing captivated from the outset - as fearless as it was then intimate spirited and full of excitement, he proceeded in sublime fashion."
- Siegener Zeitung, October 2017
"[Gaspard de la nuit] Grosvenor demonstrates the extent of his virtuosity, but it is almost nothing compared to the sonorous poetry and the lithe sensibility of his playing.... One must follow carefully the progress of this young pianist."
- ResMusica.com, October 2017
"one of the best pianists on the current concert stage."
- The WholeNote, October 2017
“Benjamin impresses throughout, with his touch, technique, rhythmic energy and contrasts in expression … [In Mendelssohn’s Preludes and Fugues] Grosvenor produces amazing dynamic changes … His interpretation rivals those of Alfred Cortot and Stephen Hough”
- Fine Music Magazine, July 2017 (review of Homages)
“[Benjamin Grosvenor] surpassed the expectations of many attending the recital, including my own … we proceeded, step by step, from astonishment to astonishment. The scintillation began with Schumann’s Arabeske opus 18 sung by Grosvenor in a voice of extreme delicacy … [In Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata] the artist showed magnificent cohesion and great delicacy of touch. The brief allegretto interlude was a haven of grace and good taste before landing in the whirlwind of the presto agitato finale … Grosvenor’s hands not only flew but managed to propel the music in waves of expressive intensity, until a culmination that left the audience breathless. I do not remember hearing in recent years another version of this work with the accuracy, musicality and emotional impact achieved by Grosvenor … [he] produced Scriabin with an enviable transparency between the two hands, then journeyed through Granados with wit and shades of colour and ended with an explosive Liszt, where the inevitable virtuosity never prevented the singing line from always emerging amidst the tangle of notes.”
- Búsqueda, May 2017
“Grosvenor showed his expressiveness with exceptional phrasing … with a perfect sonorous balance, growing and diminishing harmonically, without unnecessary haste or accentuations. [On works by the Spanish composer Enrique Granados] Grosvenor’s versions surprised us with the richness with which they were approached. In them, he showed a total emotional rapport with the spirit of the author rarely witnessed in a pianist of non-Latin origin. [On Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody] Its execution demands in the first place a true virtuoso and Grosvenor undoubtedly is that. In addition, we must highlight the wealth of tone colour that he deployed in unfolding the work, where the beauty of his pianissimos contrasted with his rounded fortes … Undoubtedly Grosvenor is one of the great hopes of current pianism.”
- El Pais, May 2017
“… a night of the best romantic pianism in the vein of the great 19th-century virtuosos … a lion taming the imposing Steinway concert grand … [In Beethoven he demonstrated] superlative technique and sensitivity to the outer layers, in precisely the right doses … Two fragrant elements of the pianist particularly enchanted me: his fine subtlety in the construction of phrases in the delicate Arabesque of Schumann … The choice of Spanish music in the final part led us to a climax in which virtuosity, necessary both in Granados and in Liszt, was victorious - as befits a recital, making the public tremble with the true magic of the Spanish Rhapsody.”
- O Estado de S. Paulo, May 2017
“Grosvenor is a great pianist, in addition to his impeccable technique, demonstrated through his beautiful playing an enchanting poetry, with the realisation of lovely pianissimos and of round, well-proportioned fortes … Grosvenor has the fullest wisdom and knowledge of the styles of musical literature, nowadays increasingly rare. The filigree of Spanish music had in Grosvenor’s fingers the most refinement one could hope for … a young pianist on stage with profound wisdom, a refined and virtuous technique and above all an impressive musical intelligence. His concentration moves the most demanding listeners. He is a distinguished pianist, natural, virtuosic, intense, possessor of an enviably sonorous palette and also of a brilliant career. Bravo to the pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.”
- Jornal do Brasil, May 2017
“[Benjamin Grosvenor] demonstrated that aristocratic ease, commanding technique and mixture of bravura and refinement that have put him amongst the very best young pianists. The orchestra responded in kind. [Rhapsody in Blue] the wailing clarinet introduction and syncopated brass stabs were energised and raunchy, but not too much; the whole thing felt light on its feet.”
- The Telegraph, May 2017
“At 24, Benjamin Grosvenor delivers virtuosity beyond his years. If you haven't heard him, hear him now … Here was exquisite dynamic control, crisp articulation and sustained lyricism … the standing ovation was well deserved … the coiled power of his playing, reminiscent of Horowitz, whom Grosvenor has cited as one of his early role models, came to the fore in his dazzling rendition of Liszt's Rhapsodie Espagnole … His virtuosic fireworks avoided bombast with a suppleness of phrasing that allowed this often-breathless music to breathe. Grosvenor's encore, Moszkowski's Etude in A flat … showed a gossamer touch and winning charm.”
- LA Times, May 2017
“Benjamin Grosvenor played an utterly astounding recital in Vancouver yesterday. I simply have never heard that degree of refinement, elegance, and multi-faceted pianism in person, ever.”
- The Piano Files, May 2017
“Benjamin Grosvenor tends to attract hyperbolic headlines wherever he performs .. [his] Orange County debut on Wednesday at Segerstrom Concert Hall showed what all the fuss and fawning was about … He’s reminiscent of a generation of pianists that are long gone … Josef Hofmann, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Artur Schnabel, Alfred Cortot, Arthur Rubenstein … [In Liszt’s Rhapsodie espagnole] Grosvenor wasn’t content merely to wow us with his prodigious technique. It served a higher purpose, which was to capture the larger-than-life composer behind the music … The work is a pianist’s Iron Man event, and when performed as Grosvenor did (and undoubtedly Liszt, in his time) it’s more than just a tour de force – it’s a celebration of the capabilities of the human mind and body.”
- The OC Register, May 2017
“[Benjamin] strikes the keys with an enviable touch and solidity, bringing striking clarity and evenness to his runs while opening out to the firmest expressions at the bottom of the instrument. This is a very beautiful sound which walks arm-in-arm with pristine delineation … The second half of this recital exhibited just how much control Grosvenor now has over the instrument … [Granados’ Goyescas] illustrated the sculpted elegance and ‘fineness’ of tonal control within Grosvenor’s arsenal … Liszt’s Rhapsodie espagnole was the brilliant tour-de-force, revealing the pianist’s sterling talent in combining agility and commanding tonal strength, giving the work real character.”
- Seen and Heard International, May 2017
“Grosvenor’s technique seems limitless, and he’s not afraid to show it off, but it became clear early in the program that he also has a firm grasp of period style. Schumann’s Arabesque, which served as his curtain-raiser, was delivered with flexible tempos and long arching phrases … his eminently satisfying performance [Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata] started off with a relatively brisk, unfussy, evenly paced Adagio. The extra weight in the left-hand octaves gave the music extra mystery. The middle movement was both genial and delicate; and the finale, taken at a furious pace, sustained a coiled, hyper-tense momentum.”
- American Record Guide, May 2017
“Grosvenor, the young British star … played his part stylishly with brilliance, grace and crystal-clear touch … Under the young Brit [the cadenza] had the urgency and forward momentum that in the past characterized performances of Richter or Serkin.”
- ConcertoNet, April 2017
“Young Grosvenor is a genuine virtuoso: running arpeggios with light, deft touch; effortlessly playing cross-handed; graceful and accurate without stage pretension of boasting showmanship … [he] may be the greatest English pianist since John Ogdon … Excitement flowed from Grosvenor’s fingers like discovering a fresh cool stream during a country hike.”
- The Millbrook Independent, April 2017
“… the best pianist to come out of England for the last 50 years”
- J-Wire, April 2017
“The 24-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor stole the show ... sitting down to play Benjamin Britten’s Piano Concerto.”
- The National, March 2017
“… the wait is gloriously worthwhile: however deeply considered, all these performances sound thrillingly spontaneous. Grosvenor is already a master of grandeur and of the subtlest range of colour and nuance. His pianism is something to marvel at, yet everything is achieved in the service of a poetic vision of rare integrity. His Bach-Busoni, delivered with extraordinary eloquence and command, ranks with the finest accounts on record. Mendelssohn can scarcely have had a more devout or dazzling rendering, and not since Cortot has Franck’s Prelude, Chorale et Fugue been recorded with such fervour and interior magic … At the age of 24, Grosvenor surpasses the transient fame of so many famous competition winners with aristocratic and transcendental ease.”
- International Piano, February 2017 (5* Review of Homages)
“In Grosvenor’s hands, Mozart’s Sonata no. 13 in B flat major sounded like a true classical composition… letting melodies sing with lightness, delicacy, without any overbearing … the pianist’s ability to easily bring out the melodic qualities, the shifts in mood and color from amidst the swirling pyrotechnics is entirely remarkable for someone so young … His poetic but razor sharp approach to music making, his subtle, non-showy technique bring to mind the recordings of the late [Walter Gieseking].”
- Bachtrack, February 2017 (5*)
“Grosvenor impressed at this ASO concert as a virtual heir to the great “old school” pianists, the kind you rarely hear anymore … Possessing a formidable technique, Grosvenor plays deeply into the keys, boldly, but with a ringing, rounded weight to his tone in loud passages. In softer moments, he was not merely soft, but played with body, color and presence … his playing is at once passionate and at the same time remarkably straightforward and intelligent.”
- ArtsATL, February 2017
“… such was his combination of poetry and power that at 24 he already seems a seasoned musician … Grosvenor not only observed niceties of the printed page but entered into the spirit of the pieces by achieving heightened and irresistible identification. Some of this displayed his extreme virtuosity. But a number of young speedsters today play accurately. So the difference was in an apparent ease that left room for rare and telling characterization … Liszt’s "Rhapsodie espagnole" went from strength to strength. It had dumbfounding keyboard pyrotechnics but also, at times, a teasing playfulness not heard in Liszt since the passing of Georges Cziffra and Vladimir Horowitz. Extraordinary challenges in the music keep most players from creating the illusion of having fun. Not Grosvenor. He even extended it into two encores.”
- The Chicago Tribune, February 2017
“Benjamin Grosvenor wowed a Symphony Center audience with intensely passionate, yet wonderfully delicate playing … Sunday’s recital lived up to all the hype and showed that Benjamin Grosvenor is definitely an artist worthy of attention … This program reflected a deep understanding of the piano repertoire, while also allowing Grosvenor to exhibit tremendous range of emotion and impressive technical savvy with near perfect playing … [Grosvenor] turned to [Liszt’s Rhapsodie Espagnole] at the recital’s conclusion … It was a brilliant way to conclude a brilliant recital, demonstrating this young pianist has the complete package.”
- Third Coast Review, February 2017
“The concluding Rhapsodie espagnole by Liszt was Grosvenor’s most formidable technical feat of the evening. His deliberate pacing of the introductory “La Folia” theme expanded to a wide-ranging panorama of keyboard pyrotechnics. He tackled the knuckle-busting writing at high speed and full force. The “Jota arogonesa” was stated with lightness and elegance but Grosvenor took the climactic pages at a frantic pace while maintaining perfect accuracy. Even those for whom Liszt’s music is an acquired taste could become believers when his music is played with such musicality and imagination. Grosvenor is a force to be reckoned with.”
- South Florida Classical Review, February 2017
“Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Grosvenor's playing wasn't 'just' its jaw-dropping virtuosity, but rather the way in which music of such power, drama and fire sat so comfortably next to such delicious wit, grace and Gallic charm. Audience cheers for an encore resulted in another dazzling display of his ability to conjure colour from the keyboard: Moszkowski's Etude in A flat.”
- The Nottingham Post, February 2017
“[A] young British luminary sat bolt upright at the keys for Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 … Never a flighty or showy artist, Grosvenor managed to make the solo part’s fierce unison statements and pensive passages even more grandiose than usual.”
- The Times, January 2017
“the chamber-like delicacy of much of Grosvenor’s playing, ably supported by the LSO’s wind soloists and horn section, made this a reading [Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1] of considerable subtlety, with the rhapsodic elements in the development section benefiting from a clarity of tone and phrasing.”
- Bachtrack, January 2017
“Grosvenor lovingly clarified Brahms’s counterpoint, teasing out individual voices and making them glow.”
- The Spectator, January 2017
“Grosvenor held his own. At times achieving a delicacy and finesse, a whispered phrasing-off, a weighting of melody, inner voicing and chords one might expect more from a recital or studio context, he reached the poetic heights in the Adagio, the closing trills and final ensemble dissolving ethereally … You could hear a pin drop. The great F-major double-octave clarion call of the first movement, the Beethovenian stamp and canter, the glittering cascades of the Finale, the two closing fantasia-cadenzas showed another side – bold, grand and authoritative, prepared to play the hall but with quality, tone and taste at a premium. There was much to satisfy.”
- Classical Source, January 2017
“…an interpretative maturity that goes beyond expectations given his young age accompanied by excellent technique and a pure, crystalline sound. Yet in this album still he manages to outdo himself with invaluable interpretations invoking the concept of ‘homage’….A special mention goes to the two preludes and fugues by Mendelssohn, pieces very seldom heard, and the glorious César Franck…”
- Amadeus, January 2017 (review of Homages)
“Grosvenor's prodigy days are long gone: he is now an international artist, functioning alongside legendary pianists two or three times his age.”
- Classical Music Magazine, January 2017
“Grosvenor is acclaimed as one of the best in a generation of young pianists that includes Yuja Wang and Daniil Trifonov. This pianist has tremendous talent. With the Mendelssohn Preludes and Fugues, his ability to separate voices in the fugues is magical.”
- American Record Guide, January/February 2017 (review of Homages)
“From the beginning Grosvenor struck me as one of the most promising pianists of his generation, among which I’d also include Yuja Wang, Daniil Trifonov, and Jan Lisiecki—all leaped into contracts with major labels almost as soon as the news of their extraordinary talent leaked out to the general classical music public. Whenever a pianist programs Chopin’s Barcarolle in F♯, I think back to Vladimir Horowitz’s ability to turn a lulling boatman’s song into an ‘erotic tone poem,’ as one critic called it… Happily, Grosvenor senses the same potential in the music, applying added tension and contrast early on, alternating with lyrical gentleness…this is a superb reading, displaying spellbinding touch. Touch serves Grosvenor very well in the three Liszt pieces from Années de pèlerinage, bringing out, for example, the charm and lightness in “Gondoliera.”…Grosvenor’s feathery passagework is displayed beautifully here. The moody Canzonetta, which verges on the Gothic, is phrased with a sure instinct for avoiding the music’s potential to turn into empty clatter. Tarantella features rapid-fire staccato repetitions that Grosvenor handles thrillingly, giving way to scales and arpeggios that exist to awe the audience—I was suitably awed. [Le tombeau de Couperin]…seconds my opinion that Grosvenor’s Ravel is exceptional; besides the Gaspard on his debut album, there was a magical Concerto in G on a follow-up disc in 2012. Jacques-Yves Thibaudet has long been Decca’s in-house French pianist, but listening to his Le tombeau side by side with Grosvenor’s, Thibaudet’s playing is far less scintillating—Grosvenor takes us into a different sound world where magic is achieved through effortless sleight-of-hand. His extraordinary touch (that word again) in the Toccata is incomparable. Sacre bleu, l’anglais triomphe!”
- Fanfare, January/February 2017 (review of Homages)