Benjamin Hochman is a musician of exceptional versatility who regularly appears in multiple guises as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In recent years he has ventured into the orchestral repertoire as a conductor. His wide range of partners and projects is matched by his curiosity, focus, and ability to communicate deeply with audiences.
Since his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, Hochman has enjoyed an international performing career, appearing as soloist with the New York, Los Angeles, and Prague Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestras under conductors including Gianandrea Noseda, Trevor Pinnock, John Storgårds, and Joshua Weilerstein.
A winner of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, he performs at venues including Konzerthaus Wien, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Louvre in Paris, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, New York’s 92nd Street Y, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Festival highlights include IMS Prussia Cove, Israel Festival, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Lucerne, Santa Fe, Spoleto, and Verbier.
Hochman’s projects in 2021 reflect both his imaginative approach to programming and his ongoing relationships with several orchestras and festivals. He will perform Canonic Codes, a piano recital juxtaposing musical canons by Bach, George Benjamin, and Christopher Trapani (a premiere) for the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, where he is a regular guest. He will play and direct Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 414 and K. 449 for the season-opening concert at Music Mountain, with musicians from the Roosevelt Island Orchestra, an orchestra he founded in 2015. He returns to Santa Fe Pro Musica to open their 2021-22 season, conducting Beethoven Symphony No. 5 and playing Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos with Anne-Marie McDermott. He rejoins the Orlando Philharmonic and Eric Jacobsen to perform one of his favorite concertos, the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1.
Chamber music collaborations in 2021 include Berlin performances with Noah Bendix-Balgley, Viviane Hagner and Amihai Grosz at Framed Berlin. Concerts in the US include a recital with Susie Park for The Schubert Club in Minnesota, with principal players of several major American orchestras at Strings Music Festival in Colorado, and with Melissa Reardon and Raman Ramakrishnan at the Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. He will make his first chamber music recording for Aparté Records in Paris with violist Dov Scheindlin of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, in a program of the two Brahms Sonatas for Viola and Piano Op. 120 alongside works by Robert and Clara Schumann.
Hochman began conducting in 2015 as a result of his longstanding admiration for the orchestral repertoire and his collaborative approach to music making. A graduate of The Juilliard School’s conducting program, where he received the Bruno Walter Scholarship, Hochman trained under Alan Gilbert from 2016-2018. He served as musical assistant to Louis Langrée, Paavo Järvi, and Thierry Fischer at the Mostly Mozart festival in 2016. In 2018 he participated in the Tanglewood Conducting Seminar, where he worked with Stefan Asbury, and he has also participated in masterclasses with Fabio Luisi and David Zinman. In recent years he has conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, The Orchestra Now at Bard Music Festival, the Florida Orchestra, and the Juilliard Orchestra.
Hochman’s discography reflects his wide-ranging musical interests as well as his personal path. In 2019, he recorded Mozart Piano Concertos No. 17 and No. 24, playing and directing the English Chamber Orchestra. It was released on Avie Records and received critical acclaim from Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times, among others. Hochman’s first two recordings for Avie Records were Homage to Schubert (works by Schubert, Kurtag, and Widmann) and Variations (works by Knussen, Berio, Lieberson, Benjamin, and Brahms). Variations was selected by the New York Times as one of the best recordings of 2015 and was also praised by The New Yorker.
Chamber music has been a vital part of Hochman’s life, from his early years in Israel, to his formative years at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, and as a member of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His chamber music partners have included the Tokyo, Casals, and Jerusalem quartets, Jonathan Biss, Lisa Batishvili, Jaime Laredo, Miklós Perényi, and David Soyer.
Hochman is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, among them the Partosh Prize awarded by the Israeli Minister of Culture, the Outstanding Pianist citation at the Verbier Academy, and the Festorazzi Award from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Born in Jerusalem in 1980, Hochman began his piano studies with Esther Narkiss at the Conservatory of the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and continued his private studies with Emanuel Krasovsky in Tel Aviv. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied from 1997-2001 with Claude Frank, and the Mannes College of Music, where he studied from 2001-2003 with Richard Goode. His studies were supported by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He serves on the piano faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music and is currently a Research Associate at Bard College Berlin. He is a Steinway Artist.