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November 5, 2015

From Carnegie Hall to King William Street

It's like Mozart is coming to town. Seriously.

  • Words: Joshua Fanning

Have you ever Googled yourself? ‘Yes’ is the answer. Of course.

It’s a bit weird what comes up. It’s also a bit upsetting to see the other, more famous /successful / talented you on the Internet just lording it over (and literally above) you in the order of relevance to which Google assigns you.


Master 9 – EROICA
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Brett Dean –
Mozart –
Piano Concerto No 20
– Symphony No 3 Eroica

Apart from the advantage of a less-than-common last name, Benjamin Grosvenor (no need to pronounce the ‘s’) is the one and only Benjamin Grosvenor the internet thinks you need to know about.

We stopped reading after 10 pages full of links to stories, videos and rankings related to him. Sorry if you are the true Ben Grosvenor waiting to be discovered on page 11.

This weekend Benjamin Grosvenor is playing the piano in Adelaide. His piano playing is why the internet loves him and it’s definitely why you should take this rare opportunity to hear someone destined for greatness, before absolutely everyone knows they’re great. Like when Kanye played Thebarton Theatre that time.

At age 11 Benjamin was doing the above on the BBC. Last month he had his recital debut at Carnegie Hall at age 23.

Tomorrow night and Saturday he’s in Adelaide to perform alongside Australian composer Brett Dean (Google him) and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for an especially unique concert at Adelaide’s own famous Hall.

However, internet sensationalism aside – Brett Dean is potentially even more of a ‘Mozart’ than Benjamin.

Brett is leading the concert this weekend as conductor, performer and composer. All of the things.

The concert hinges around Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony – this is post mastery for Beethoven where he’s basically let himself loose and gotten drunk on the romantic spirit that permeated the age. Benjamin will join the Orchestra to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20.

But Brett goes further, leading the ASO in a performance of his own work called Testament.

It’s Brett’s own interpretation of Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament, which Beethoven wrote after learning that he was going eternally deaf.

In Brett’s Testament he’s used some unorthodox techniques for creating a different sound with the orchestra.

The string section will use bows with no rosin on them. Rosin is the stuff that makes the bow grip on the strings, and so hardly any sound will come out. Also the brass and woodwind sections start playing by just blowing air through without making the proper noise.


Under 30s get a good deal on ticket prices too

The impetus behind this haunting sonic idea says Brett is to evoke the, “quietly feverish sound of Ludwig’s imagined quill writing manically on leaves of parchment paper.”

It sounds to us like the classical equivalent of this. But more badass.


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