Benjamin Fourie

artistic work as concert pianist, poet and other activities

In a Nutshell

Benjamin Fourie is not only an experienced concert pianist, but also a successful recording artist, ensemble musician and music educator. He has served as juror for international piano competitions and also has some experience as church organist. In addition he has published a few articles on subjects related to performance and music events or works.

He lives in the town of Bethulie, in the Free State province of South Africa, from where he focuses mainly on free-lance work as a concert artist. Although he has a special interest in contemporary piano music by South African composers, he also performs music by 20th century composers from Europe, such as Frank Martin, Olivier Messiaen and Henri Dutilleux. His nationwide performances of Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesus (Twenty Contemplations on the Christ Child) have been hailed by critics and music lovers as milestone events in this part of the world.

He often demonstrates these specialized interests in innovative programming, combining lesser-known and newer music with well-loved works from the standard repertoire. All in all his repertoire includes more than fifty concert programs of various style periods.

He has given numerous concerts in South Africa and Namibia and since 1996 his
concert activities have taken him to a number of European countries as well, namely Germany, the Czech Republic, France (Reunion), Bulgaria and Serbia.

Besides his activities as musician, he writes poetry from time to time. Select poems have been published in  South Africa, the USA and the UK. The composer Etienne van Rensburg set 21 of these to music in three vocal cycles with different settings.

Of these, the cycle Blou Orkaan W44/98 (Blue Hurricane W44/98) has been recorded on an Afrikaans art song CD, performed by Chicago-based soprano Henriet Fourie and Benjamin Fourie. Apart from this CD he has released four other CD recordings - three of piano works by South African composers and one entitled Soiree - comprising of Variations on the Afrikaans Folk Song Ver in die wereld Kittie (Far in the World Kittie) by Ilse-Mari Lee, a South African-born composer who is based in Bozeman, Montana, USA and other well-known works from the standard repertoire.

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