The New York Philharmonic has named Benjamin Grosvenor the inaugural recipient of The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize. The newly created prize is to be awarded every three years to an up-and-coming pianist or piano duo chosen by a confidential panel comprising prominent pianists, New York Philharmonic leadership, and other recognized musical figures.
Prize-winners will receive $30,000 and will perform with the New York Philharmonic, play chamber music with Philharmonic musicians, and serve as classical music ambassadors, taking part in community engagement and education initiatives around New York City. Benjamin Grosvenor will make his New York Philharmonic subscription series debut during the 2017–18 season, April 4–7, 2018, marking his first collaboration with the Philharmonic in New York City. The Ackman Prize is made possible by a generous gift from Philharmonic Board Member Lawrence Ackman and his wife, Ronnie.
“I am thrilled to receive the Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize from the New York Philharmonic. To be the first recipient of this prize, generously sponsored by Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman, and awarded by one of the world’s great orchestras, is an immense honour. I was fortunate in making my New York debut in Carnegie Hall when I was 13 and from that occasion onwards have always been touched by the warmth I have experienced from New York audiences. I look forward greatly to making my subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic and also to becoming involved in community music projects in a city that has always treated me like one of their own, and which has such a rich musical history and culture.”
Benjamin made his New York Philharmonic debut on a Young People’s Concert in London as part of the Philharmonic’s inaugural residency at the Barbican Centre. He performed in “The Masque” from Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety, Symphony No. 2, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert. He again appeared with the Orchestra later that season during the Philharmonic’s Bravo! Vail summer residency, performing Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2, led by Andrey Boreyko.
“I congratulate the panel on choosing Benjamin Grosvenor as the inaugural recipient — he perfectly captures the artistry and advocacy that the Prize was created to celebrate” – Lawrence Ackman (speaking for Ronnie and himself), Sponsor
“I can think of no one better than Benjamin Grosvenor to inaugurate this new honour” – Matthew VanBesien, New York Philharmonic President