Benjamin Frith - Pianist Programme - 2 December 2011
“Prodigy of Prodigies” was how British artist Benjamin Frith was described by Dennis Matthews when, aged just 14, he won the British National Concerto Competition. Since then, he has been a first prizewinner in the Mozart Memorial Competition (London), and was awarded top prize in the Busoni International Piano Competition.
Having achieved rave reviews from his American and Edinburgh Festival debuts, Frith Established himself as an international concert artist. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Polish National Radio, and the BBC Philharmonic. He has worked with many leading conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Antoni Wit, Vasary, Skrowaczewski, Bamert, Atzman and Barry Wordsworth.
His exciting and diverse repertoire ranges fro Bach to Tippett and includes over 50 concertos. He has recorded all the John Field Piano Concertos and during 2002 numbers 5 & 6 reached the top of the Classical charts and since then has recorded all Field’s Nocturnes for solo piano. His disc of Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze was chosen as the top recommendation on the Radio 3 “Building a Library” programme. Five of his discs are represented in the Gramophone “Best CD Guide” and in response to his recording of the Diabelli Variations, Gramophone critic Richard Osborne wrote “he possesses a formidable talent both musically and technically. Indeed, I would go as far as to suggest that there has not been a finer Diabelli on record by a young pianist since the classic recording by the twenty eight year old Stephen Kovacevich in 1968”. A recent recording of a selection of Scarlatti Sonatas was described in the BBC Music Magazine as follows “Benjamin Frith is an inspired choice for the fifth disc of the Naxos cycle, a compelling advocate of the piano he transports the music to the new medium, capitalising on the piano’s ability to pick out a strand, shape dynamics and bathe textures in subtle pedalling, without ever misrepresenting Scarlatti” a disc to convert the most die-hard authenticist”¯.
His enjoyment of chamber music has led to many collaborations with artists such as The Lindsays, Peter Hill, The Sorrell and Vertava Quartets. He has also recently formed a piano quartet which is known by his name The Frith Piano Quartet, the other players being Robert Heard, Louise Williams and Richard Jenkinson
He has been a lifetime pupil of the legendary Dame Fanny Waterman of Leeds.