British pianist wins New York Philharmonic award

New York Philharmonic has named British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor as the recipient of the inaugural Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize. The 24-year-old receives USD30,000 (€27,500) and the chance to perform with both the NY Phil and its chamber ensembles. He will also take part in community engagement and outreach activities on behalf of the orchestra. The prize will be awarded every three years.

‘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,’ said Grosvenor. ‘I look forward greatly to making my subscription debut with the NY Phil and also to becoming involved in community music projects in a city that has always treated me like one of its own, and which has such a rich musical history and culture.’ He will appear with the orchestra during the 2017-18 season, with details of the programme yet to be announced.

Grosvenor made his NY Phil debut in 2012 as part of the orchestra’s residency at London’s Barbican Centre. He first came to public attention when he won the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of 11. Since then he has been named as Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year, won a Classic Brits Critics’ Award and received the UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent.

Commented NY Phil president Matthew VanBesien: ‘I can think of no one better than Benjamin Grosvenor to inaugurate this new honour, which marks the vital role that pianists play in our world, not only as collaborators in concerto appearances and chamber music, but also as musical ambassadors representing the vibrancy of our art form.’