English composer and conductor George Benjamin made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 conducting his opera Written on Skin (text by Martin Crimp), which he returns to conduct in the 2016/17 Season.
Benjamin was born in London. He started composing at the age of seven and studied with Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire and with Goehr at King’s College, Cambridge. He made his BBC Proms debut aged 20 with Ringed by the Flat Horizon (BBC Symphony Orchestra and Mark Elder). Further compositions include At First Light (London Sinfonietta and Simon Rattle), Palimpsests (London Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez) and the chamber opera Into the Little Hill, which marked the start of his collaboration with Crimp. His compositions have been celebrated through retrospectives at the Barbican, the Southbank Centre and in Paris, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh and New York, among others. He is an honorary fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was appointed a CBE in 2010 and a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015.
Benjamin regularly conducts such leading orchestras as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern. He has conducted world premieres by composers including Chin, Grisey, Ligeti and Rihm. He regularly teaches at the Tanglewood Festival and is Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King’s College London.
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Other winners include Daniel Barenboim, Welsh National Opera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
George Benjamin, Gerald Barry and David Bruce short-listed for British Composer Award 2013.
Written on Skin composer and writer to create new opera that will have its premiere in 2018.
Written on Skin audience members Justyna and Emmet
Composer George Benjamin with the score for his opera Written on Skin
Written on Skin audience member Rhiannon
Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin
Barbara Hannigan as Agnès and Bejun Mehta as Boy in Written on Skin
George Benjamin. Photograph by Matthew Lloyd
Written on Skin audience member Andrew
Christopher Purves as Protector, Bejun Mehta as Boy and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin
Written on Skin
Barbara Hannigan as Agnès and Christopher Purves as the Protector in Written on Skin
Allan Clayton as John, Bejun Mehta as Boy and Victoria Simmonds as Marie in Written on Skin
Christopher Purves as Protector in Written on Skin
Written on Skin audience member Tony
George Benjamin in rehearsals
Christopher Purves as Protector and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin