Benjamin Grosvenor with Chamber Music Cincinnati and Art of the Piano

Outstanding young British artist is being co-presented by Art of the Piano and Chamber Music Cincinnati at Memorial Hall on March 25.

Dear Friends,

When I was a student, I had the opportunity to play in a masterclass for Murray Perahia, and it was an incredibly transformative experience.  Subsequent to that, Mr. Perahia was very generous with me, and anytime I happened to be in the city where he was performing, I could contact his manager and get tickets to his concerts.  I actually managed to see him in a few places, including in Berlin.

(By the time I saw him in Berlin, I think he was getting a little suspicious I was stalking him, but he was always exceptionally gracious) 🙂

When the opportunity came for Chamber Music Cincinnati and Art of the Piano to present Mr. Perahia, I was ecstatic.

Early in my career, there was a period in which Mr. Perahia was unable to perform, and I was called to substitute for him and make my debut in Seattle as a concert artist.  It was an important concert series there, leading to numerous performances in the region over the years and helping to build my career.

As you probably know by now, Mr. Perahia is unable to perform here (as well as Carnegie Hall) next month.  As we brainstormed who could possibly replace him, my thoughts turned to whether we could present another up-and-coming young artist to benefit that person’s career in a similar way that mine was by performing in Mr. Perahia’s stead.

We’re incredibly proud to be able to present the Art of the Piano/Chamber Music Cincinnati debut of Benjamin Grosvenor, an exceptional young British artist.

The Independent describes him as “one in a million…several million,” and David Allen of The New York Times said, “He commands the stage with aristocratic ease … For all that Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, Khatia Buniatishvili and others can wow with speed or daring, Mr. Grosvenor makes you sigh with joy. … A temperament rare in yesteryear, let alone now.”

We’re excited to present Grosvenor in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a performance of one of his early grand sonatas, Op. 7.  Also on the program is the Liszt sonata – if you’ve been following us, you know that Art of the Piano is founded on the principles of Liszt’s generous open masterclasses – and we’re thrilled to have this performance mark the opening of our 10th Anniversary Season.

Our season will present the best-yet roster of piano superstars, including Garrick Ohlsson in his Cincinnati recital debut performing Chopin, of course (which he’s incredibly famous for) and additionally Prokofiev’s 6th sonata – one of the most fiendishly difficult and at the same time profound pieces of music.  It’s one of his war sonatas, and it’s a piece we’ve not yet had performed at Art of the Piano.

We’ll also have Sergei Babayan – a frequent collaborator with Martha Argerich and regular at the Verbier Festival – performing Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninoff; and Yong Hi Moon presenting the last work that Beethoven wrote for solo piano, the Diabelli Variations

The festival proper kicks off with an all-Beethoven opening concert with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, which I will conduct.  I’ll perform his first piano concerto; Olga Kern will perform his fifth concerto; and one of our Young Artists, Lewis Warren, will perform the first movement of his fourth concerto.

We will also be featuring a concert with our Young Artists performing all five of the Beethoven piano concertos.

Returning this season are Sasha (Alexander) Korsantia and Vladimir Feltsman in recital.  The festival concludes with Simone Dinnerstein and Ensemble Baroklyn performing Bach keyboard concertos.

Hope you can join us in this milestone celebration.

With gratitude,

Awadagin Pratt

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