Pianist Benjamin Hochman’s eloquent and virtuosic performances blend colorful artistry with poetic interpretation exciting audiences and critics alike. He performs in major cities around the world as a respected orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician working with a celebrated array of renowned conductors and colleagues. An impassioned and intelligent exponent of diverse composers from Bach and Mozart to Kurtág and 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.
Highlights of the 2017-2018 season include Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 12 in A Major, K. 414 with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, where he serves as the soloist and conductor. Under the baton of David Felberg he reprises this work with Santa Fe Pro Musica. Chamber music performances in 2017-18 include collaborations with the Borromeo String Quartet at Shriver Hall, members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the Italian Academy of Columbia University, and at the Santa Fe and Norfolk chamber music festivals, among others. Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2011, Mr. Hochman previously made his New York recital debut in 2006 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He proceeded to establish 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 at 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 performed his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut at the Hollywood Bowl and was engaged for three subscription series with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Under the early influence of Otto Werner Mueller at Curtis and with a deep admiration for the rich orchestral repertoire, Mr. Hochman has recently pursued serious conducting studies. They resulted in Mr. Hochman’s appointment as the musical assistant to Louis Langrée and guest conductors at the 2016 Mostly Mozart Festival, including Thierry Fischer, Jeffrey Kahane, Matthew Halls, and Paavo Järvi. He has served as assistant conductor at the Orland Philharmonic and led the Roosevelt Island Symphony, an ensemble consisting of New York’s top musicians and ensembles. This season he conducts members of The Orchestra Now and serves as assistant conductor to Leon Botstein for the American Symphony Orchestra’s concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and Alice Tully Hall.
In 2009 Mr. Hochman’s debut solo recording of works by Bach, Berg, and Webern was released by Artek. He recorded his second solo album, Homage to Schubert, for Avie Records in 2013. It features Schubert’s Sonata in A Major, D. 664 and Sonata in D Major, D. 850 alongside contemporary tributes to Schubert: Jörg Widmann’s Idyll und Abgrund: Six Schubert Reminiscences and Kurtág’s Homage to Schubert. In 2014 Mr. Hochman performed a program of variations by contemporary composers Luciano Berio, Oliver Knussen, Frederic Rzewski, and the world premiere of Tamar Muskal’s Frédéric Variations presented by the 92nd Street Y at SubCulture. Of this performance Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times observed “…as I listened to the pianist Benjamin Hochman’s sensitive, exciting renditions of four contemporary works that explore the form of theme and variation (including one premiere), I kept thinking that classical music doesn’t get better than this.” This performance was also recognized by Mr. Tommasini as one of the top 10 classical music events of that year. In 2015 Mr. Hochman released Variations on the Avie label based on his recital of the same title. He has also recorded chamber by Lawrence Dillon (with the Daedalus Quartet on Bridge Records) and by Lisa Bielawa on Innova Recordings.
Mr. Hochman has performed with the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Houston, Seattle, Vancouver, New Jersey, America, and Portland symphonies, the New York String Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Prague Philharmonia, Istanbul State Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada under eminent conductors such as David Robertson, Gianandrea Noseda, John Storgårds, Pinchas Zukerman, Jun Märkl, Leon Botstein, Bramwell Tovey, Jahja Ling, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Kaspar Zehnder, Michael Stern, Jaime Laredo, and Joshua Weilerstein. 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, and Vail 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 Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw, Louvre, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Tivoli Theatre in Copenhagen, l’Auditori de Barcelona, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. A masterful collaborator, Benjamin Hochman has worked with the Tokyo, Shanghai, Mendelssohn, Casals, Prazak, and Daedalus string quartets; Zukerman ChamberPlayers, members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Orion string quartets, Jonathan Biss, Cho-Liang Lin, Ani Kavafian, Miklós Perényi, and Ralph Kirshbaum. A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, he has worked closely with composers Kaija Saariaho, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Hurel, Brett Dean, Tamar Muskal, David Ludwig, and Menachem Wiesenberg, among others.
Benjamin Hochman has been selected to participate in 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. 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 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, 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 at the Conservatory of the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and 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 Conservatory of Music.