The South Florida Symphony Orchestra is closing out this year’s spectacular season with Igor Stravinsky’s mythical and enchanting The Firebird. Rarely performed, this full ballet score launched the young Stravinsky to international fame, now widely considered the most influential composer of the 20th century.
Additionally, the Masterworks IV concert will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Mark Bebbington who will perform British composer Frederick Delius’ only Piano Concerto. Show dates are April 16-18, 2020.
This is Bebbington’s first time performing with the SFSO.
“I am very excited to work with the South Florida Symphony Orchestra and the chance to perform such a rarely performed piece,” he said. “The chance to work with musicians in an unfamiliar part of the U.S., at least for me, is such a treat.”
Critical plaudits that have greeted Bebbington’s performances and recordings have singled him out as a British pianist of the rarest refinement and maturity. In other words, he is one of Britain’s greatest pianists.
“I started playing piano when I was nine years old,” he said. “Quite old by today’s standards!”
Internationally recognized as a champion of British music, Bebbington has recorded extensively for the Somm label to critical acclaim, with no fewer than nine of his recent CDs awarded five stars by BBC Music Magazine. His most recent CDs include piano works by Arnold Bax and Harriet Cohen, three British Piano Concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and an all-Gershwin album with Leon Botstein and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I enjoy recording with the Somm label and I have built up a significant catalogue of British music, including the Delius Piano Concerto I will be performing with you,” Bebbington said. “As in all things, intensive preparation is a major factor in a recording’s success.”
Bebbington studied at the Royal College of Music where he was a recipient of numerous international awards and prizes, including a Leverhulme Scholarship, a Winston Churchill Fellowship, and the Ivan Sutton Recording Prize. He studied in Italy with the legendary Aldo Ciccolini.
Over recent seasons, Bebbington has toured throughout Central and Northern Europe, the Far East, North Africa and in the United States as both a recitalist and soloist with some of the world’s leading orchestras. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2017 with Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra and appeared with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra and on tour with the Israel Camerata and Czech National Opera. He has also been featured both as a soloist and recitalist on BBC television and radio networks.
“I am a diligent preparer for every concert,” Bebbington said. “I like to get to know the work as well as possible, both technically and musically. Then performing repertoire to new audiences always gives me a thrill.”
After Bebbington’s time with the SFSO, he will be playing Delius’ Piano Concerto in London and Paris. Overall, his itinerary of constant concert work never ceases.