Richard Jenkinson & Benjamin Frith 

 cello & piano duo    

Richard Jenkinson -cello

Richard Jenkinson was born in 1971 and started to learn the cello at the age of five. He studied with Florence Hooton, Raphael Wallfisch and William Pleeth. After awards from Muriel Taylor, Countess of Munster and Martin Trusts he continued his studies with various professors including Yfrah Neaman, Peter Wallfisch and Aldo Parrisot in the U.S.A.

Chamber Music has always been an important part of Richard's musical make-up. From an early age he would relish the opportunity to read through and become acquainted with new repertoire and many happy hours were spent discovering new and unusual repertoire. This manifested itself in working through great volumes of cello and piano recital repertoire. Whilst at the Guildhall, Richard gave many recitals. Firstly with the Latvian born pianist Robert Kulek, which included recitals (in addition to those at the Guildhall) at the South Bank Centre in London and an award from the Masie Lewis Trust. After Robert left the Guildhall, Richard played many further recitals with Bernard Lanskey and studied the medium in more depth with Peter Wallfisch. In 1994, and after winning the Guildhall's coveted Gold Medal and indeed all the cello prizes, Richard and Robert Kulek were top prize winners at the Vittorio Gui Chamber Music Competition in Florence, Italy. This led to further recitals, a broadcast on Italian radio and an invitation to record the complete Martinu sonatas and Variations which they duly did at Conway Hall in London. Further invitations resulted in two Kirckman Concert Society performances at the Purcell Room, a Wigmore Hall recital as well as many recitals around the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. During this period, Richard played Buxton Orr's Carmen Fantasy live on the Selina Scott show and on Worldwide Television.  He also appeared live on both Classic FM and BBC Radio 3.     

In 1996, Richard played his first recital with Benjamin Frith. This fortuitous meeting has led to a very close and successful duo and became the backbone of the Frith Piano Quartet which they later formed. Richard was chosen to be part of the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme (he was also reselected for the following year) and played many concerts with Ben the length and breadth of the country. These recitals have included cycles of Beethoven and Brahms Sonatas as well as explorations of more unusual music. This duo continues to be a source of great inspiration as the pair play many recitals together and further expand on their repertoire. This repertoire now takes in everything from the great classics of the repertoire to contemporary works; Argentinean Tangos by Astor Piazzolla and even jazz by the Ukrainian composer Nikolai Kapustin. 

Richard is a keen chamber musician and plays regularly with the Innovation Chamber Ensemble (which he founded in 2001 with CBSO colleagues), Frith Piano Quartet and for the last five years has organized the CBSO Centre Stage Series of chamber music concerts. He has performed abroad in China, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Malta and the U.S.A.

Richard plays on a cello by G B Grancino of Milan circa 1697.

Richard & Ben's first London concert - 1997

Benjamin Frith- Piano

Benjamin Frith was encouraged by his teacher, Fanny Waterman, to pursue a musical career after winning the UK Dudley National Piano Competition at 14. Today he has made 17 solo discs and performed with many of the great orchestras including Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Halle, CBSO & many of the BBC Orchestras. Benjamin has appeared with some of the great conductors including Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Antoni Wit, Sir Mark Elder, Mattias Bamert and Mosche Atzmon. At 20 he became a Mozart Memorial Prize winner and was invited by Sir Peter Pears to appear at the Aldeburgh Festival. He achieved international recognition by sharing top prize in the 1986 Busoni International Piano Competition, and 1st prize in the 1989 Artur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, making his debut at the Edinburgh Festival in 1992 with Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. A life long interest in chamber music was realised in his becoming a member of the Gould Piano Trio in 1998.

Astor Piazzolla - Le Grand Tango (live performance)

 Richard Jenkinson (cello)    Benjamin Frith (piano)