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Ben Schoeman plays Bach, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Liszt

Monday April 9, 2018 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Chaconne from Partita No 2 in D minor, for solo violin BWV 1004 - Johann Sebastian Bach, transcribed for piano by Ferruccio Busoni
  2. Concert Suite from The Nutcracker, transcribed for solo piano Op 71a - Pyotr Tchaikovsky, transcribed by Mikhail Pletnev
  3. 12 Préludes, Book 2 - Claude Debussy
    • Prélude No 8, Ondine
    • Prélude No 12, Feux d'artifice
  4. Hungarian Rhapsody No 12 in C sharp minor S244 - Franz Liszt

The South African pianist and Steinway Artist Ben Schoeman has won major prizes, including the first grand prize in the 11th UNISA Vodacom International Piano Competition, Pretoria (2008), the gold medal and Lorna Viol prize in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, London (2009), the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music (2011) and the contemporary music prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, USA (2013). In 2016, he was awarded the Huberte Rupert Prize from the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contribution to music in his native country.

He has given solo, chamber music and concerto performances throughout Europe, Canada, the USA and South Africa in such prestigious concert halls as the Wigmore, Barbican, Cadogan and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, the Cape Town City Hall and the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. He has performed at festivals in the United Kingdom (City of London, Edinburgh Fringe, King’s Lynn and Chester Festivals), Italy (Festival da Bach à Bartók and Festival Mario Ghislandi), South Africa (Grahamstown, KKNK and Woordfees), Romania (George Enescu Festival) and Canada (Ottawa Chamber Music Festival). He has recently appeared as soloist in Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. 1 with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London. His critically-acclaimed renditions of Liszt’s Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2 with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra are frequently broadcast on South African national television. He has performed with numerous conductors, including Nicholas Cleobury, Carlos Izcaray, James Judd, Gérard Korsten, Theodore Kuchar, Diego Masson, En Shao, Yasuo Shinozaki, Arjan Tien and Conrad van Alphen. He also regularly collaborates with pianist Tessa Uys and flautist Dawid Venter.

In collaboration with his duo partner, cellist Anzél Gerber, Ben Schoeman was awarded the first prize in the Ibla Grand Prize Competition in Italy. The duo performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and has received the gold medal in the Global Music Awards for their recording of music by Anton Rubinstein. The eminent South African composer Stefans Grové dedicated his Concerto for Piano, Cello and Orchestra ‘Bushman Prayers’ (2013) to Gerber and Schoeman, and they premiered the work with the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras in during their recent nationwide concert tour.
Ben Schoeman studied at the University of Pretoria, the International Piano Academy in Imola, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. His teachers include Michel Dalberto, Louis Lortie, Ronan O’Hora, Boris Petrushansky, Joseph Stanford and Eliso Virsaladze. In 2016, he obtained a doctorate in music from City, University of London and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with a thesis entitled ‘The Piano Works of Stefans Grové (1922-2014): A Study of Stylistic Influences, Technical Elements and Canon Formation in South African Art Music’. His doctoral studies were supervised by Christopher Wiley and supported by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the National Research Foundation, the Wingate Scholarships, the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and the Drake Calleja Trust. Schoeman’s solo album, featuring works of Franz Liszt, has been released by TwoPianists Records and is distributed worldwide through Naxos Global.

Free recital (retiring collection)

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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