The New York Philharmonic has announced the creation of the Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize at the New York Philharmonic, and named 24-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor as the inaugural recipient. The Ackman Prize is to be awarded every three years to an up-and-coming pianist or piano duo chosen by a confidential panel comprising prominent pianists, New York Philharmonic leadership, and other recognized musical figures. Prize-winners receive $30,000 and will perform with the New York Philharmonic, play chamber music with Philharmonic musicians, and serve as classical music ambassadors, taking part in community engagement and education initiatives around New York City. The Ackman Prize is made possible by a generous gift from Philharmonic Board Member Lawrence Ackman and his wife, Ronnie.

  • Benjamin Grosvenor
    Benjamin Grosvenor

    “I am thrilled to receive the Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize from the New York Philharmonic,” said Benjamin Grosvenor. “To be the first recipient of this prize, generously sponsored by Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman, and awarded by one of the world’s great orchestras, is an immense honor. I was fortunate in making my New York debut in Carnegie Hall when I was 13 and from that occasion onwards have always been touched by the warmth I have experienced from New York audiences. I look forward greatly to making my subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic and also to becoming involved in community music projects in a city that has always treated me like one of their own, and which has such a rich musical history and culture.”

    British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and insightful interpretations. His virtuosic command over the most strenuous technical complexities underpins the remarkable depth and understanding of his musicianship. Mr. Grosvenor is renowned for his distinctive sound, described as “poetic and gently ironic, brilliant yet clear-minded, intelligent but not without humor, all translated through a beautifully clear and singing touch” (The Independent), making him one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world. Benjamin Grosvenor first came to prominence as the winner of the Keyboard Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition at the age of 11. Since then, he has become an internationally regarded pianist, performing with orchestras around the world in venues including London’s Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Centre, Singapore’s Victoria Hall, and The Frick Collection and Carnegie Hall in New York City. A 2010–12 BBC New Generation Artist, Mr. Grosvenor has appeared at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions, including his 2015 appearance as the Last Night soloist performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop. In 2011 he signed to Decca Classics, becoming the youngest British musician ever to sign to the label and the first British pianist to sign to the label in almost 60 years. Benjamin Grosvenor has received Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year and Instrumental Award, a Classic Brits Critics’ Award, UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent, a Diapason d’Or Jeune Talent Award, a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music, and, now, the inaugural Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize at the New York Philharmonic.

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  • Upcoming New York Philharmonic Performances

    Inaugural Ackman Prize recipient Benjamin Grosvenor will make his New York Philharmonic subscription debut during the 2017–18 season, April 4–7, 2018, marking his first collaboration with the Philharmonic in New York City. (He performed with the Philharmonic on tour in London in 2012, and later that same year during the Bravo! Vail summer residency.) Program details and other activities will be announced at a later date.

  • About the Ackmans
    Lawrence and Ronnie Ackman

    Lawrence and Ronnie Ackman are longtime supporters of the New York Philharmonic, particularly to the Orchestra’s programs featuring piano soloists. The Lawrence and Ronnie Ackman Family Fund for Distinguished Pianists has supported Philharmonic appearances by notable pianists including Yefim Bronfman, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, André Watts, Jeffrey Kahane, Inon Barnatan, Yuja Wang, and Daniil Trifonov. The Ackmans have also funded The Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Family Patron Lounge in David Geffen Hall. Lawrence Ackman has been a Member of the New York Philharmonic’s Board of Directors since 2010. Ronnie Ackman, a pianist, is on the Lincoln Center Board. The Ackmans’ subscription tenure dates to 1942; it originally belonged to Mr. Ackman’s grandmother.