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Photo: Decca/Sophie Wright

 
Press

2020

 

 

“…in this brilliantly energised performance led by Benjamin Grosvenor on piano and the equally virtuosic Jason Evans on trumpet, everything — the anger, the neurotic drive, the bleakness at the heart of the middle movement — seemed to make a kind of sense, even if it was the surreal logic of a nightmare. Grosvenor brought to the party exactly the right sort of steely-toned power, especially in the final cadenza, executed at breakneck speed, while Evans’s intervention in the middle movement was almost bluesy in its projection of loneliness.”

- The Times, September 2020


“Järvi was blessed with a star soloist for the evening’s concerto in the shape of Benjamin Grosvenor arriving at the keyboard for Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano, trumpet and strings, supported by Jason Evans, the Philharmonia’s principal trumpet, making his Proms debut. I have to stop thinking about Grosvenor as a “young artist”; for several years now, he’s just reached the stage of being a top class musician, irrespective of age … Grosvenor was able to sound gorgeously lyrical and impassioned in the slow second movement but flip in a heartbeat to impish humour or powerful angst, Järvi sculpting the orchestral sound around him and Evans contributing the muted trumpet’s distant complain”

- Bachtrack, September 2020

“Benjamin Grosvenor flew through the difficulties of the fast music. He has a high, active finger action and bold sound, relishing the restless, almost manic good humour of the first movement”

- The Arts Desk, September 2020

“... there was no denying the pianist’s fastidiousness or his shapely phrasing especially during slow(er) music. The Finale, with its humorous diversions and silent-film-music elements, brought some dazzling responses”

- Classical Source, September 2020

“Grosvenor’s handling of the cadenza was a high-octane, virtuoso tour de force as we saw his fingers traversing the keys at dizzying speed. Piano, trumpet and strings combined one final time in the uproarious coda, driving the work to its thrilling conclusion.”

- Seen and Heard, September 2020

“No empty hall could sound more still than it did as Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor spun Szymanowski’s gossamer musical fabric in the third movement. Such impressionistic music depends hugely on the quality of its surface and in this performance it was practically flawless. Grosvenor’s touch was astonishingly responsive – as supple in quiet, single-handed lyricism as in flurries of quicksilver virtuosity – while Park made stylish use throughout of portamento and her irrepressibly expressive vibrato ... César Franck’s Violin Sonata – the second half of the programme – was a simultaneous showcase of Park’s huge palette of tone colours and of Grosvenor’s ability to conjure clarity from the densest of textures ... After so much impassioned virtuosity, Schumann’s Abendlied Op 85 No 12 appeared stark in its simplicity. Yet it was here that Park and Grosvenor’s musical partnership achieved its most touching intimacy.”

- The Guardian, June 2020

“[In] the deft young hands of Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor [César Franck’s Sonata’s] candid lyricism sounded newly minted … The opening Allegretto ben moderato felt light and airy, with a hint of flexibility in the tempo … [the third movement] benefited from Park and Grosvenor’s careful shaping of the music’s restless unthreading and made way naturally for their energised account of the bustling finale … [Szymanowski Myths Op. 30] In Narcisse, Grosvenor’s piano part rocked dreamily on its haunches while Park’s violin gazed in rapture at its own reflection. It’s a long movement but the music’s thread never broke ... [Schumann’s Abendlied] was a tribute to the strength of Park and Grosvenor’s musical partnership; they shared its gentle romance with control, eloquence and a loving interlace of violin and piano that could hardly be bettered.”

- Bachtrack, June 2020

“Park and Grosvenor are as well suited to one another as to their choice of repertoire, their duo wholly and apparently effortlessly in sympathy. The Szymanowski - three pieces written during World War I, in which the composer is alternately at his most sensual and occasionally his most irritating - gave Park the chance to shine in a range of iridescent colours. Her refinement of tone in "The Fountain of Arethusa" blossomed out into a rainbowed intensity, and the piping effects in "Dryads and Pan'" which are treacherous high harmonics, were flawlessly projected. At the piano Grosvenor made light and supple work of Szymanowski’s complex writing."

- The Arts Desk, June 2020

 

“Chamber music at its finest, the instruments carefully and perfectly blended, holding the audience to a compelling silence … Rarely can [Richard Strauss Piano Quartet] have enjoyed such a committed, compelling performance as Grosvenor and friends delivered … it was the calibration of the performance that impressed the most, the balance between the instruments a thing of wonder, the long melody in octaves strong and impassioned … Grosvenor’s fleetness of finger was incredibly impressive, while Strauss’s use of gesture to effect a return to the scherzo was beautifully honoured in musicianly fashion … a Finale shot through with the perfect balance of rhythmic impulse and lyricism rounded the evening off perfectly, Grosvenor’s staccato perfectly weighted throughout."

- Seen and Heard International, February 2020

 

“The four performers, who have recently been touring together, are soaring individually towards the top of their game. None is older than 28, but their award-studded CVs are all as long as Benjamin Grosvenor’s concert grand … Putting four top soloists together is not always a recipe for triumph, but the collegial atmosphere within this ensemble was further proof of their musical intelligence. All of them settled happily into the conversational requirements of chamber music and the group unity of thought and expression  … [Hyeyoon] Park’s seemingly effortless virtuosity and natural charisma ideally matches Grosvenor’s humming-bird fleet fingers and minutely-attuned ear for sonic balance. It was notable that in a programme with heavy-duty piano parts by composers some of whom were more at home writing for a hundred-piece orchestra, Grosvenor never overstepped the mark, instead blending with, supporting and showing off his splendid colleagues to just the right degree … an encore of the "Rondo alla Zingarese" from the G minor Piano Quartet, in which they had got it, and flaunted it at high speed, brought the house down. With these four around, no amount of notes would be too much.”

- The Arts Desk (*****), February 2020

 

"… soloist Benjamin Grosvenor played the concerto with solid melodic instincts and a keen appreciation for how the spaces between notes can inform a piece’s personality as much as what’s on the printed page. The young Brit is not an especially flashy performer, nor did he need to be: every so often he would pound the keys with relish, but overall his understated style served the rich, dark melodies well.

An equal partner with the orchestra throughout most of the work, Grosvenor at last pulled ahead in the closing moments by transforming Schumann’s already-jovial theme into something marvelous.”

- Houston Chronicle, February 2020

 

"... guest soloist Benjamin Grosvenor gave such a brilliant account of Mozart’s E-flat Major Piano Concerto, K. 271, that I came close to elation in Copley Symphony Hall.

From the outset, the young British pianist exhibited crisp, sparkling articulation and suave dynamic shadings that both enlivened and refreshed this familiar showpiece.

Grosvenor displayed immaculate scales and flourishes at thrilling tempos, but the way he shaped these passages, along with his insouciant rubatos and adroit dynamic shadings, drew his listeners into his alert and elegantly detailed interpretation."

- San Diego Story, February 2020

© 2020 Benjamin Grosvenor​

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