by Angela Sutton
On Tuesday evening I sat down with the excellent pianist (and one of the nicest people you're likely ever to meet) Benjamin Hochman to discuss his upcoming concert at SubCulture on Monday, March 10, among other musical subjects. Monday's program features four sets of contemporary variations, including Filippo Berio's Five Variations; Oliver Knussen's Variations, Op. 24; the newly commissioned Frederic Variations by the Israeli-American composer Tamar Muskal; and the massive Rzewski work The People United Will Never Be Defeated.
To be strictly accurate, this was a tea/beer conversation—too late in the day for coffee! Nonetheless, here are a few highlights:
On the Construction of the Program: The program is built around the Rzewski set, which I have wanted to play for some time. Since SubCulture is a modern space, it made sense to add contemporary variation sets [the Berio and Knussen works]. And, finally, I wanted a commissioned work [the Frederic Variations]. Tamar is a friend and compatriot, and I had previously played her trio.