Continuation of the interview with Benjamin Frith, British classical pianist with strong links to the Leeds International Piano Competition- having been a competitor at ‘The Leeds’ twice, and a student with Dame Fanny Waterman since an early age.
He won several big awards early in his career, and his recordings are highly regarded- five of his discs are represented in the Gramophone Best CD Guide and his disc of Schumann’s Davidsbundlertänze was chosen as the top recommendation on the Radio 3 “Building a Library” programme.

Show Notes

  • Ben discusses his favourite recordings from his career [0:35]
  • Memorising vs. reading music [3:20]
  • Chatting about a great performance I saw of Ben playing Rachmaninov Trio No. 2 as part of the Gould Piano Trio
  • Composers writing for their own hands and idiosyncrasies [10:30]
  • The merits of Chopin [11:20]
  • The importance of listening when playing the piano, and more elements of Fanny Waterman’s teaching [14:50]
  • Ben as a teacher (and me as a bad student!) [21:40]
  • Ben’s involvement with Chetham’s Summer School for Pianists, and we discuss common amateur pitfalls and mistakes [29:20]
  • Ben’s musical influences and the importance of listening to good recordings [33:30]
  • The psychology of performing and the importance of sleep [36:00]

Recordings Played:

Intro: Schumann- Davidsbundlertanze, Op. 6 VIII. Frisch-

[1:00] Brahms- Piano Trio in A Major, Op. Post: III. Lento-

[7:30] Tchaikovsky- Trio in Aminor op.50 : I Pezzo elegiaco-

[19:20] Scarlatti- Keyboard Sonata in D Major, K.214-

End: Schumann- Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 I. Lebhaft-

Other Recordings Discussed:

John Ogdon- Rachmaninov Sonata No.2- (no wonder he said he hadn’t learnt it, this is a complete mess!)

Horowitz- Rachmaninov Sonata No.2-

Alfred Cortot- Chopin- Etudes:

Ashkenazi- Chopin – Etudes:


[20:20] Oops I was thinking about Moszkowski!