About Me

Bio: Ben started learning the electronic organ at the age of 7, and was a relatively late starter with the piano, not starting learning until the age of 11. (Where he attended the same music school where Greenday frontman took singing lessons.) He made up for lost time by being taught by a teacher musically descended from Franz Liszt and by the age of 15 was playing movements from concertos by Beethoven and Mendelssohn and winning 2nd Prize and a Blue Star Award at the California Performing Art Competition 1989 Whilst at Saint Ignatius High School in San Francisco Ben played piano for the jazz band, dixieland Band, and school production of A Chorus Line and was awarded the Bank of America Music Achievement award in 1992. He also performed for Nobel Prize winners at a lunch for the California Academy of Sciences. 

 Ben extends his interest in playing keyboards to the bands Top Hat Band Covers band (which in 2007 was featured by Bride magazine as one of the best wedding bands in the UK) and the Bigyellowband (British Chinese Indie Rock band). The Bigyellowband released a single in 2006 on Apple i-Tunes. Ben has played in central London venues including the Trocadero, Metro Bar on Oxford Street, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Royal Opera House' Linbury Studios to audiences of 500. His Bigyellowband has been interviewed and played on radio stations in London and Manchester. Ben played the organ for the Pope's ambassador to the UK at his local church in South London, took part in the London City Showcase festival in 2006. 

Always one for self improvement and development, Ben took his first ABRSM Piano grade exam (straight in at Grade 8!) in 2005, gaining a merit mark, and a distinction for the accompanying prerequisite, a grade 5 music theory. He completed a professional Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) diploma in piano performance in 2010, which he found challenging yet fulfilling and benefited from masterclasses from international concert pianists and recording artists Frank Wibaut and Julian Jacobson, Royal College of Music professor, and with Kenneth Hamilton, author of bestseller: "After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance".  In 2008, Ben was admitted into the London Piano Circle as a member and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and is a Freeman of the City of London.  

In 2009 Ben performed at the Treasury Churchil Rooms, and the stately home Burgh House in Hampstead, the Bluthner Piano Centre.  Ben performs frequently at music festivals at the North London, Croydon, Sutton where he was commended for his romantic period pianism in 2009 and won 2nd Prize in the Senior recitalist division the following year.  

 In 2010, Ben won the popular vote as a finalist in the the Kemble Chopin E-Competition, which was judged by the then head of the Royal Academy of Music's Keyboard head Christopher Elton and International Chopin Piano Competition prizewinner Kevin Kenner. He debuted his first solo piano recital at the Streatham Festival acclaimed as a "superb performance which left the audience spellbound". Ben's keyboard skills and discussion of keyboards fusing Chinese and Western elements was featured on BBC Radio 4 music documentary "Chopsticks at Dawn" in June, 2010. He returned by popular demand to perform for BBC Children in Need at the Treasury Churchill Rooms in 2010.  He closed the year performing Christmas songs on the piano in the presence of MP Chuka Umunna. 

 In 2011, Ben's recital performance was graded a 'distinction' at the Croydon Music Festival ajudicated by the Royal College of Music's Keyboard Head Vanessa Latarche. Ben's original piano composition was featured in a video about London's Walthamstow Vilage, which also featured on the WalthamstowVillage website. Ben was interviewed and performed for a 2012 Korean TV documentary on Broadwood pianos at the Finchcock's Keyboard Museum. Ben currently studies advanced piano repertoire with international concert pianist Qian Wu, winner of the 2011 Trio di Trieste Competition, who has performed in Wigmore and Carnegie Hall, and frequently performed on BBC Radio 3. Ben had the honour of performing for the Lord Mayor of London in May, 2012.  Another highlight for 2012, Ben's Piano Sage blog reached a massive audience:  averaging  nearly 7,000 page views per month.

Ben coaches his eldest daughter, age 6 for her Grade 3 Piano exam (and Grade 1 Violin) this summer.

Hobbies: Ben is preparing for his black belt in kung fu; he has designed his own range of shirts. Ben's dream is to be invited to play overseas, and record his own classical CD.