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Benjamin Grosvenor & Friends
Queen Elizabeth Hall

Benjamin Grosvenor & Friends

Date: 27 Feb
Time: 19:30
Benjamin Grosvenor, pianist

Hyeyoon Park, violinist
Timothy Ridout, violist
Kian Soltani, cellist

Passion and ambition come to the fore in youthful works by two great composers of the Romantic era, played by an ensemble of outstanding soloists.

A welcome return to the International Chamber Music Series, their appearance in last year's season was described by The Guardian as 'luminous and thrilling'.

Johannes Brahms was 20 and in love when he began his third piano quartet, while Strauss was just 19, a dedicated Brahms fan, and on the brink of fame.

Brahms drafted his quartet during a period when he was living in the household of the composer Robert Schumann, and had fallen for Schumann's wife Clara, a pianist and composer.

Two years earlier, Schumann had championed the genius of the teenage Brahms; now he had committed himself to an asylum after a failed suicide attempt, and Brahms was doing his best to look after the family left behind.

The quartet was almost 20 years in the making, completed years after Schumann's death and Brahms' decision not to marry Clara. The first movement, however, brings Brahms' youthful feelings to life.

The last of the German Romantic composers, Richard Strauss, was deeply influenced by Brahms when he wrote his Piano Quartet on the same four-movement model at the age of 19.

Strauss wrote few chamber pieces, and this expressive work demonstrates a talent for drama that would later emerge in the composer's operas.

Benjamin Grosvenor began performing at Southbank Centre at the age of 20, and last year was critically lauded for an interpretation of Schubert' Trout Quintet for which he was joined by the Korean violinist Hyeyoon Park, the principal cellist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Kian Soltani, and viola player Timothy Ridout.

The Guardian reported of the group's performance: 'The tension was thrilling, the scherzo springing into life as if its unmistakable upbeat had been released suddenly from a confined space. Crucial to the mix was Grosvenor, who moved seamlessly from foreground to background, his quicksilver fingers constantly communicating, a luminous tone and beautifully sculpted phrases... a true chamber musician.'

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Queen Elizabeth Hall

Southbank Centre is the UK's largest arts centre, founded with the Festival of Britain in 1951. It's a place where people experience world-class art and culture that stimulates, inspires, educates and amazes.

Our festival programme encompasses art, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, literature and debate. It reaches 6.25 million people a year, and encompasses over 5,000 events featuring world-class artists from across the globe.


This Event is at Queen Elizabeth Hall

 Southbank Centre SE1 8XX Belvedere Road, London

The Queen Elizabeth Hall is the second largest concert hall on Southbank Centre site, hosting chamber orchestras, quartets, choirs, dance performances and opera. As well as the main concert hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall also contains two smaller venues, the Purcell Room and The Front Room at the QEH. Festival Village is located on the ground level of Queen Elizabeth Hall, underneath the foyer entrance and the Roof Garden on the top of the venue.


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