Following on from Benjamin’s previous Prom successes, he returns this year for not one, but two performances!
At just nineteen, Benjamin performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the First Night of the 2011 BBC Proms to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. Benjamin returned to the BBC Proms in 2012, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit. His performance dazzled critics, with The Financial Times commenting on the way in which “His Saint-Saëns alternated between a distant dream world and outbreaks of sparkling effervescence and his encore – Saint-Saëns’ The Swan in Godowsky’s transcription – “glided poetically across the keys”, it “was pure magic” (Jessica Duchen), “exquisite: for pianism’s Team GB, a gold” (The Independent)
This year, Benjamin will be performing Chopin’s First Piano Concerto, as well as Franck’s Symphonic Variations on the 8 August at the Royal Albert Hall, with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda.
On the 1 September, Benjamin will appear for his first Proms Chamber Music lunchtime concert at Cadogan Hall, presenting a wonderful programme with an underlying dance theme, alongside the premiere of Judith Weir’s exciting new commission Day Break Shadows Flee, written specifically for Benjamin.
The themed programme of Benjamin’s BBC Prom recital reflects his next Decca recital album, Dances, which is to be released on the 8 August. Dances is a chronologically and geographically wide-ranging recording of works influenced by certain types of dance, from Bach to Morton Gould. Benjamin hopes that – in the same way Bach’s suites were written ‘for music-lovers, to refresh their spirits’ – on this album ‘there will be something for everyone and that their spirits will be at least slightly nourished…’