Acclaimed by the press for his “charismatic”, “very individual” and “always gripping” playing, Toronto-born pianist Ben Cruchley was awarded Second Prize at the International Telekom Beethoven Competition in Germany. Shortly afterwards, he received Third Prize and the prize for the Best Interpretation of a Major Work of Grieg at the International Grieg Competition in Norway. He has appeared in prestigious halls such as the Musikverein in Vienna (Brahms-Saal), Roy Thompson Hall and the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre in Toronto, and the Troldsalen in Norway. Recent orchestral appearances include the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Narva Symphony Orchestra in Estonia, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He studied intensively with Dang Thai Son in Montreal and subsequently with Benedetto Lupo at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Ben is distinguished for the breadth of his musical experience. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Canadian Opera Company. He has considerable experience as an interpreter of contemporary music, including a long-standing engagement with the Ensemble Novecento in Rome. In addition to engagements as an improviser and orchestral arranger, he worked on many occasions as assistant conductor and repetiteur for Toronto-based Opera Atelier. He attained proficiency on the cello, and, many years ago, even had a fine soprano voice.
Highlights of the 2018/2019 Season include a number of appearances at the Beethovenfest in Bonn (performing Karl Amadeus Hartmann's 2nd Sonata), as well Ben's debut in the Berlin Konzerthaus, performing Rachmaninoff's Paganini-Rhapsody.
Photo: Dan Hannen