Album Info

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Label: Challenge Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

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  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791): Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453:
  • 1Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453: I. Allegro11:51
  • 2Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453: II. Andante10:08
  • 3Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453: III. Allegretto - Presto07:31
  • Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488:
  • 4Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: I. Allegro11:09
  • 5Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: II. Adagio07:18
  • 6Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: III. Allegro assai08:16
  • Total Runtime56:13

Info zu Mozart: Piano Concertos No. 17 & 23

Ben Kim performs two Piano Concertos by Mozart together with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra.

Ben Kim: “The story of Mozart is by now well-known. His oeuvre and life have become staples of modern culture, from the numerous books, films and biographies to the hundreds of recordings of his work by history’s most acclaimed musicians. Yet one might say this canonization has paradoxically led to a narrowing of our enjoyment of Mozart.

I’ve long been interested in using the modern piano to mimic the unique temperament of the fortepiano, to make the notes not only sing but speak like a human voice, accentuating not only the luxuriant vowel sounds of the modern piano but also the short, staccato consonants created by the fortepiano. Mozart is master of the lyrical, but there are even more layers of dimension to be revealed by adding the percussiveness of the fortepiano, sometimes taking the modern piano off its contemporary pedestal, and weaving the more transparent texture of its historical sibling with the orchestra. For this recording, I had the privilege of playing with members of one of the world’s most prestigious orchestras. Working with leader Michael Waterman, our hope was for the orchestra to be fully integrated, to create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, soloist included. The recording was done without conductor, in a diplomatic approach more common to chamber ensembles than a 28-strong orchestra. We made musical decisions far in advance and in rehearsal set the balance so that the piano could suitably accompany the orchestra, rather than only the other way around. Removing its lid to open up the piano, the orchestra huddled around it so that I was face-to-face with the operatic winds, bringing them to the forefront, with easy access to all string players around me. In this configuration we were able to fully relish the accompanimental and often under-prioritized middle register which so often forms the backbone of the music, contributing heavily to its character. Taken together, this attitude of musical camaraderie was instrumental in helping us create a distinctive sound and feeling for these much-loved works.”

Ben Kim, piano
Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Michael Waterman, conductor

Ben Kim
American pianist BENKIM's performances have gained a burgeoning international reputation for an uncommon maturity, integrity and insight. He was most recently the recipient of the Rheingau Musik Festival's 2017 LOTTO Career Development Prize, from which the international jury panel made its decision upon the following stated reasons: "His brilliant technique and his incredible flair for interpretive refinement are exceptional phenomenon among pianists his generation - so much naturalness, sympathetic charisma and pleasant modesty, coupled with great virtuosity, are rarely experienced with a leading musician."

After winning first prize at the illustrious ARD Munich International Music Competition in 2006, Ben has since garnered critical acclaim for his performances at such venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall, and the Berlin Philharmonie; at eminent festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, the Klavier-Festival Ruhr; and with prominent orchestras including the Baltimore, Seoul, and St Petersburg Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, along with numerous radio symphony orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio, MDR, and Deutsche Radio Philharmonic.

Ben recently went on a 14-concert tour through Japan with the Brno Philharmonic, as well as a number of performances in Germany, including those at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Stuttgart Liederhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Munich Gasteig. Ben's recording of the Chopin Préludes and Impromptus was released on the Universal Decca label in 2012.

Ben was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he began studying piano at age 5 with Dorothy Fahlman. At 20, Ben completed an accelerated Bachelor of Music degree program at the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Leon Fleisher, where he continued his studies thereafter with Yong Hi Moon. Ben was selected to attend the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy from 2005-2008, a program headed by Martha Argerich and William Grant Naboré, which, upon befriending a number of Italian students, led to his interest in Italian cooking. Ben currently resides in Berlin, working with Klaus Hellwig. He tries to rock climb twice a week when he can.

Follow Ben on Instagram. Please inquire for official press biography and further materials.

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