Sep 12, 2011

Child Genius, Benjamin Grosvenor, Rocks the Rudofinum

I attended the dazzling piano recital yesterday of very young and very brilliant, British pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor. He has just turned 19 - no longer a child genius, but he first skyrocketed to fame by winning the BBC Young Musician Award in 2004 at age just 11. He has just been signed by Decca Records, the youngest artist ever signed and the first British pianist signed to Decca in 60 years. His technique last evening was phenomenal (a word I shouted out to him from the first row during the curtain call and which elicited an impish smile), but all of that dazzling virtuosity was so focused and concentrated into a very personal vision. An artist of great originality and intensity, here is a video of him playing Gershwin's Love Walked In (Rather than the expected performances of Chopin and Liszt). The future of our world lies with such profoundly spiritual and gifted artists. Blessings.

 Review from The Independant, October 2010

There are child prodigies, and then there's Benjamin Grosvenor. He first made the headlines when he won the piano section of the 2004 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition aged only 11. As prodigies go, Grosvenor was the real McCoy: he astonished everyone not only with his ability to zip around the instrument, but also with the extraordinary maturity of his musical understanding....

Personally, I'm convinced that Grosvenor is the most important British pianist to emerge in decades. The key is that he has his own sound, something rare even among well-established names: it is poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humour, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch.
He's one in a million - several million. All being well, great things should lie ahead.