Winner of 2011's prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, pianist Benjamin Hochman has been described by the New York Times as a “gifted, fast-rising artist”. His eloquent and virtuosic performances have earned him critical acclaim and his rare combination of bravura and poetry has excited audiences and critics alike. His engagements have brought him to major cities as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator with celebrated conductors and colleagues. A passionate interpreter of diverse composers from Bach and Mozart to Berg and Kurtag with a penchant for juxtaposing familiar works with the unfamiliar, Mr. Hochman has proven to be adept in expressing the essential heart of each composer.
After his successful recital debut in 2006 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he became a strong musical presence in New York through his concerts with the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra, his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic and his continuous presence at 92nd Street Y. Mr. Hochman has performed with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, New Jersey and Portland Symphonies, the New York String Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Istanbul State Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada under eminent conductors such as Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Leon Botstein, Nir Kabaretti, Jaime Laredo, Jun Märkl, Daniel Meyer, Lucas Richman, Bramwell Tovey, Joshua Weilerstein, Kaspar Zehnder and Pinchas Zukerman. He has appeared in his native Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Tel Aviv Soloists, the Raanana and Jerusalem Symphonies. Following his debut with the Chicago Symphony in a Mozart Piano Concerto project with Pinchas Zukerman and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, he returned at the invitation of Emanuel Ax to participate in the 2012 “Keys to the City” Festival. During the festival he performed with the CSO, David Robertson, Trevor Pinnock, Orli Shaham, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Orion Weiss in two Mozart concertos and a recital of two-piano works by Ravel and Rachmaninoff.
Highlights of Mr. Hochman's 2012-2013 season include solo recitals in Boston and Tel Aviv and a tour of Mexico performing the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Janacek and Ravel. He returns for his third subscription series engagement with the Pittsburgh Symphony in performances of Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand Alone, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and performs Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals in his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Vancouver Symphony and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major with the Phoenix Symphony. He takes part in two chamber performances of Stravinsky, Beethoven and Fauré at New York's 92nd Street Y with Jaime Laredo, Steven Tenenbom and Sharon Robinson and collaborates with the Escher String Quartet in Buffalo and Bethlehem, Efe Baltacigil at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Brooklyn and Manhattan and at the Schubert Club’s “Accordo” series with members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In 2009, he released his first album on Artek entitled Introducing Benjamin Hochman, featuring Bach's Partita No. 4 in D and Partita No. 6 in E minor, Berg's Sonata, Op. 1 and Webern's Variations Op. 27. He recorded Insects and Paper Airplanes: The Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon in 2010 for Bridge Records. His forthcoming recording, entitled Hommage to Schubert featuring Schubert’s Sonata in A, D. 664 and Sonata in D, D. 850 alongside Jorg Widmann’s Idyll und Abgrund: Six Schubert Reminiscences and Kurtag’s Hommage to Schubert will be released by Avie Records in 2013.
Past festival highlights include Marlboro, Ravinia, Caramoor, Santa Fe, Bard, Gilmore, Vail and Vancouver 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 Concertgebouw, the Louvre, Tivoli Theatre, l'Auditori de Barcelona, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. A masterful collaborator, Benjamin Hochman has worked with the Tokyo, Mendelssohn, Casals, Prazak and Daedalus Quartets, Zukerman Chamber Players, members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Orion Quartets, Jonathan Biss, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin and Ani Kavafian, Miklós Perényi, Ralph Kirshbaum and Sharon Robinson. A dedicated advocate for contemporary music, he has performed works by Kurtág, Carter, Lutoslawski and Andriessen, and has worked closely with such notable composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Hurel, Osvaldo Golijov, Lawrence Dillon and Tania Leon, among others.
Benjamin Hochman has previously been selected to participate in prestigious 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.
In addition to the 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant, 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 for best performance 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 (Canada), 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 with Esther Narkiss at the Conservatory of the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and Emanuel Krasovsky in Tel Aviv. He 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. In addition to being on the faculty at Bard Conservatory he is currently on the piano faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Benjamin Hochman is a Steinway Artist and lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Jennifer Koh.