For the past three years, Israeli pianist Benjamin Hochman suffered from a hand injury that pulled him away from extensive tours and concert engagements. Now that sabbatical is over.
Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, Benjamin is offering his Complete All-Mozart Sonata Project over the course of two seasons (2018-2019 and 2019-2020). He will perform five concerts at the Bard College Conservatory of Music from October 2018 to September 2019 and the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv in September 2019. Part of this Mozart immersion includes 18 sonatas and 4 irresistible shorter pieces.
He also will record the Mozart Piano Concertos No. 17 and 24 with the English Chamber Orchestra in London in April 2019, set to be released on Avie Records in fall 2019.
“The inspiration for my Mozart immersion comes from my admiration for his music,” Benjamin said. “He expresses every human emotion, and the depth, subtlety and beauty in his art are qualities I care about. I am reading a wonderful history book that summarized the Ancient Greeks’ outlook on life as prizing beauty and truth above all else. This describes Mozart’s music perfectly.”
Other projects and performances
As if this immersion isn’t enough, Benjamin has many other performances and works in the mix.
February 17 marked his first NYC concert since his sabbatical, where he joined the New York Philharmonic as a guest artist for an enchanting chamber music concert at the Merkin Hall where he performed Faure Piano Quartet No. 2. In the past year, he gave world premieres by Jesse Brault, Gilad Cohen and Max Grafe in November 2018, as well as performed at Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Goucher College and Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs.
He returns to center stage this season with Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Whatcom Symphony in Bellingham, Washington, in May; and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414 with Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Orlando Philharmonic.
Happiness and the Stage
Benjamin derives happiness from family and friends, yoga, running, and a plate of perfectly prepared pasta with freshly shaved black truffles. He finds inspiration through his encounters with all the arts: reading, attending plays, going to museums, and galleries, as well as being in nature.
“I believe that everything we experience as human beings shapes our art. I also think that we have greater inner resources than we realize, and just as in life so in art, there is always more to discover,” Benjamin said.
To learn more about Benjamin, visit his website.