Benjamin Hochman is a musician of exceptional versatility who regularly appears in multiple guises as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In recent years, he’s ventured into the orchestral repertoire as a conductor. His wide range of partners and projects is matched by his curiosity, focus, and ability to communicate deeply with audiences.
Since his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, Mr. Hochman has enjoyed an international performing career, appearing as soloist with the New York, Los Angeles, and Prague philharmonic orchestras and the Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Jerusalem symphony orchestras under conductors including Gianandrea Noseda, Trevor Pinnock, John Storgårds, and Joshua Weilerstein.
A winner of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Hochman performs at such venues as New York’s 92nd Street Y, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Louvre in Paris, Liszt Academy in Budapest, and Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Festival engagements include IMS Prussia Cove and the Israel Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, Lucerne Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Verbier Festival.
Mr. Hochman’s recent and upcoming projects reflect the breadth of his musical activities, his imaginative approach to programming, and his ongoing relationships with several orchestras and festivals. He performed four Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Daniel Barenboim at the Pierre Boulez Saal as part of a filmed workshop. He’ll perform Canonic Codes, a piano recital juxtaposing musical canons by Bach, George Benjamin, and Christopher Trapani (a premiere) for an online edition of the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival. The Trapani and Benjamin works will be featured alongside Rebecca Saunders’s Shadow in a recital for Tzlil Meudcan, a new-music festival in Tel Aviv. He returns to Santa Fe Pro Musica to open their 2021–22 season, conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and playing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos with Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott, and he rejoins the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Eric Jacobsen to play one of his favorite concertos, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
Chamber music collaborations in 2021 include Berlin performances with violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Viviane Hagner and violist Amihai Grosz. Upcoming chamber music concerts in the United States include recitals at The Stissing Center in New York and with violinist Susie Park for the Schubert Club in Minnesota as well as performances at Music Mountain in Connecticut and with principal players from several major American orchestras at the Strings Music Festival in Colorado. He’ll also perform with violinist Rosanne Philippens, violist Tomoko Akasaka, and cellist Zvi Plesser at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and he’ll record the two Brahms Sonatas for Viola and Piano alongside works by Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann with violist Dov Scheindlin of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the Aparté label in Paris.
Mr. Hochman began conducting in 2015 as a result of his longstanding admiration for the orchestral repertoire and his collaborative approach to music-making. A graduate of the conducting program at The Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Award, Mr. Hochman trained under Alan Gilbert from 2016 to 2018. He served as musical assistant to Louis Langrée, Paavo Järvi, and Thierry Fischer at the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2016. In 2018, he participated in the Tanglewood Conducting Seminar, where he worked with Stefan Asbury, and he’s also participated in master classes with Fabio Luisi and David Zinman. In recent years he’s conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, and Orchestra Now at the Bard Music Festival.
Mr. Hochman’s discography reflects his wide-ranging musical interests. In 2019, he released an album for Avie Records called Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 17 and No. 24, on which he also directs the English Chamber Orchestra, and it received critical acclaim from Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, among others. Mr. Hochman’s first two recordings for Avie Records were Homage to Schubert (featuring works by Schubert, György Kurtág, and Jörg Widmann) and Variations (featuring works by Knussen, Berio, Lieberson, George Benjamin, and Brahms). Variations was selected by The New York Times as one of the best recordings of 2015, and it was also praised by The New Yorker.
Chamber music has been a vital part of Mr. Hochman’s life, from his early life in Israel and his formative years at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music to his regular appearances at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and his years as a member of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His chamber music partners have included the Casals, Jerusalem, and Tokyo string quartets; violinists Lisa Batiashvili and Jaime Laredo; pianist Jonathan Biss; and cellists Miklós Perényi and David Soyer.
Mr. Hochman is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Partosh Prize awarded by the Israeli Minister of Culture, the Outstanding Pianist citation at the Verbier Academy, and the Festorazzi Award from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Born in Jerusalem in 1980, Mr. Hochman began his piano studies with Esther Narkiss at the Conservatory of the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and continued with private studies with Emanuel Krasovsky in Tel Aviv. He’s a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied from 1997 to 2001 with Claude Frank, and the Mannes School of Music, where he studied from 2001 to 2003 with Richard Goode. His studies were supported by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He serves on the piano faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music and is currently a research associate at Bard College Berlin. Mr. Hochman is a Steinway Artist, and his website is BenjaminHochman.com.