George Benjamin's limited-edition birthday CD


Composer, pianist and conductor George Benjamin turned 50 on January 30 and will be celebrating that important milestone with a concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday, February 7. The day before his birthday he recorded his 2004 composition Piano Figures, "ten short pieces for piano solo" at Nimbus's Wyastone Concert Hall in Monmouth. One hundred CDs will be pressed – each is numbered and signed by the composer – and will be made available at the QEH concert. "Piano Figures was conceived for the hands of young pianists. Most of the movements are not technically challenging, though a few do require a degree of virtuosity," Benjamin says. "At all times, however, my desire was to state ideas and capture moods in the most direct and economic way possible. Piano Figures was commissioned by Philharmonie Luxembourg, and the first performance was given there by my friend Pierre-Laurent Aimard on May 18, 2006.” The CD will be priced £6.99 and will be available from MDC's riverside Royal Festival Hall branch.

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