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Performance Space, College Building, City, University of London, St John Street, London, EC1V 4PB
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Concerts at City, University of London

Ben Smith (Piano): A Thousand Regretz: Renaissance / Modern Melancholy

Pianist Ben Smith presents a beautiful and ingenious programme, featuring keyboard works from the Renaissance alongside contemporary music for solo piano. Separated by a period of 400 years or more, the composers of these works explore contrasting and comparable notions of melancholy, as emotional expression and creative inspiration.

Please note, this event is free to attend, but seats are limited, so please do sign up to attend, via the ‘register now’ button on the City website.


  • Eva-Maria Houben, méditations sur le piano 1: listening to johann jakob froberger: méditation sur ma mort future
  • Sandrin arr. Hernando de Cabezón, Doulce memoire
  • Christian Drew, More Parlour Music
  • John Dowland arr. Orlando Gibbons, Lachrimae Pavana
  • Luigi Nono, … sofferte onde serene …

— short interval —

  • Phillipe de Monte arr. Antonio Valente, Sortez mes pleurs
  • Evan Johnson, mes pleurants
  • Lawrence Dunn, For piano (dancing)
  • Josquin des Prez arr. Luis de Narváez, Mille regretz

About Ben Smith

Ben Smith is a London-based pianist and composer specialising in contemporary music. In demand both as a soloist and chamber performer, he is known for daring and virtuosic performances which traverse the extremes of the contemporary repertoire, ranging from New Complexity to Wandelweiser.

He has performed across the UK and internationally, including London venues Ambika P3, Barbican Hall, Hackney Round Chapel, Kings Place, Milton Court Concert Hall, St John’s Smith Square, and Wigmore Hall. His performances have been featured numerous times on BBC Radio 3

He has given world and UK premieres by Peter Ablinger (Silk Street Music Hall), Patrícia Sucena de Almeida (Transit: Festival voor nieuwe muziek), Eric Egan (Musicon, Durham University), Michael Finnissy (Michael Finnissy at 70), Anders Hillborg (BBC Total Immersion), Eva-Maria Houben (Borough New Music), Evan Johnson (Cafe OTO, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival), Ragnar Kjartansson (London Contemporary Music Festival), Helmut Lachenmann (BPSE), Rebecca Saunders (Musicon, Durham University), and Alastair White (Tête-à-tête Opera Festival).

Recording projects include works by Brian Ferneyhough and Alastair White (métier), and the complete piano works of Evan Johnson (all that dust).

Ben was a Junior Fellow at Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 2020-2022, where he previously studied with Laurence Crane, Rolf Hind and James Weeks (winning the Tracy Chapman Prize for his composition alone; silently). His compositions and writings are often concerned with phenomenological and semiotic approaches to material and repetition, the foregrounding of silence as a formal parameter, and objects from visual art and poetry (recent works have involved research into Hokusai, Bashō, Sappho, Agnes Martin, and Old English laments). His music has been featured on Score Follower (islands) and One Glass Eye Records (thirty-six views of the same thing)

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