Pianist Benjamin Hochman’s eloquent and virtuosic performances blend artistic bravura with poetic interpretation exciting audiences and critics alike. He performs in major cities around the world as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and respected chamber music partner, working with a celebrated array of renowned conductors and colleagues. Described by the New York Times as a “gifted, fast-rising artist,” Mr. Hochman is an impassioned and intelligent exponent of diverse composers, from Bach and Mozart through to Kurtág and Peter Lieberson. He strives to express the essence of each composer’s works, resulting in interpretations that the Vancouver Sun described as “stylish and lucid, with patrician authority and touches of elegant wit where context allows.” Possessed of an intellectual and heartfelt musical inquisitiveness, Mr. Hochman frequently juxtaposes familiar works with the unfamiliar in his concert programs, to help illuminate each work for the listener, a talent further illustrated by his thoughtful recorded repertoire.
Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, Mr. Hochman made his successful New York recital debut in 2006 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He subsequently established a vibrant and venerated musical presence in New York City through concerts with the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra, his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic and a succession of prominent recital and chamber performances the 92nd Street Y. Following his debut with the Chicago Symphony in a Mozart Piano Concerto project with Pinchas Zukerman and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, he returned at the invitation of Emanuel Ax to participate in the 2012 “Keys to the City” Festival. In September 2012 he made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut at the Hollywood Bowl and in January 2013 he made his third subscription series appearance with the Pittsburgh Symphony in performances of Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand Alone, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said: “He unfurled the music so gently, lending a grace to it I had not heard before.”
In November 2013, Avie Records will release Mr. Hochman’s second solo album entitled Homage to Schubert featuring Schubert’s Sonata in A, D. 664 and Sonata in D, D. 850 alongside contemporary tributes to Schubert: Jörg Widmann’s “Idyll und Abgrund: Six Schubert Reminiscences” and Kurtág’s “Homage to Schubert”. This recording serves as an expression of Mr. Hochman’s deeply-felt passion and respect for Schubert’s subtle, intimate and mesmerizing music, which he says reveals a striking dichotomy between lyricism and drama. By juxtaposing the Schubert works with the tributes, he hopes to demonstrate how meaningful and relevant Schubert remains today. Mr. Hochman’s debut solo recording of works by Bach, Berg and Webern was released by Artek in 2009. He recorded Insects and Paper Airplanes: The Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon in 2010 for Bridge Records in collaboration with the Daedalus Quartet.
Highlights of Mr. Hochman’s 2013-14 season include recitals for the Washington Performing Arts Society at the Kennedy Center and in Boston at the Longy School of Music. The program explores one of the most primal and versatile of musical forms, Variations, and will include Variations in contrasting styles by contemporary composers Oliver Knussen and Frederic Rzewski alongside Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Handel. The Knussen and Rzewski pairing will also feature on his recital program in New York at the 92nd Street Y’s new SubCulture venue in March 2014, in a recital that also includes the world premiere of a new work by Tamar Muskal. Mr. Hochman will return to Chicago in February 2014 to perform one of the International Music Foundation’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts that will be broadcast and streamed live on WFMT, and international recital appearances include Biarritz and Jerusalem. Orchestral engagements include performances of Mendelssohn concerti with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, TN and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada; Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G major, K. 453 with the Riverside Symphony at Alice Tully Hall in New York City; and Bartok Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia. In Fall 2013 he will perform both Brahms Piano Concertos: the Concerto No. 1 in Wheeling, WV and the Concerto No. 2 in Reading PA.
Mr. Hochman has performed with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, New Jersey and Portland Symphonies, the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the New York String Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Istanbul State Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada under eminent conductors such as Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Leon Botstein, Nir Kabaretti, Jaime Laredo, Jahja Ling, Jun Märkl, Daniel Meyer, Lucas Richman, David Robertson, Bramwell Tovey, Joshua Weilerstein, Kaspar Zehnder and Pinchas Zukerman. He has appeared in his native Israel with several orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, and the Tel Aviv Soloists.
Past festival highlights include Marlboro, Ravinia, Caramoor, Santa Fe, Bard, Gilmore, Vail and Vancouver in North America, as well as international festivals such as Lucerne, Spoleto, Verbier, Ruhr, Israel Festival and Prussia Cove. Mr. Hochman has performed internationally at such major halls as the Concertgebouw, the Louvre, Tivoli Theatre, l'Auditori de Barcelona, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. A masterful collaborator, Benjamin Hochman has worked with the Tokyo, Mendelssohn, Casals, Prazak and Daedalus Quartets, Zukerman ChamberPlayers, members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Orion Quartets, Jonathan Biss, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin and Ani Kavafian, Miklós Perényi, Ralph Kirshbaum and Sharon Robinson. A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, he has performed works by Kurtág, Dutilleux, Carter, Lutoslawski and Andriessen, and has worked closely with such notable composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Hurel, Osvaldo Golijov, Lawrence Dillon and Tania Leon, among others.
Benjamin Hochman has previously been selected to participate in prestigious residencies around the world such as CMS Two at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Isaac Stern's International Chamber Music Encounters in Israel and Carnegie Hall's Professional Training Workshops with Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw.
In addition to the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Hochman received the "Outstanding Pianist" citation at the Verbier Academy, the Festorazzi Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, second prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the "Partosh Prize" awarded by the Israeli Minister of Culture for best performance of an Israeli work and first prize at the National Piano Competition of the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio's Young Artist Showcase and Performance Today, WNET’s Sunday Arts, WQXR, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), Radio France and Israel's Voice of Music radio station, as well as on the European television network Mezzo.
Born in Jerusalem, Benjamin Hochman began his studies with Esther Narkiss at the Conservatory of the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and Emanuel Krasovsky in Tel Aviv. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music where his principal teachers were Claude Frank and Richard Goode. His studies were supported by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He is currently on the piano faculty of Bard College and the Longy School of Music. Benjamin Hochman is a Steinway Artist and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Jennifer Koh. His website is http://www.benjaminhochman.com.
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