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George Benjamin

Composer

Biography

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.

Videos

News and features

Joyce DiDonato, John Tomlinson and Written on Skin win RPS Music Awards

Joyce DiDonato, John Tomlinson and Written on Skin win RPS Music Awards

14 May 2014

Other winners include Daniel Barenboim, Welsh National Opera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Three operas staged at the Royal Opera House short-listed for awards

Three operas staged at the Royal Opera House short-listed for awards

25 October 2013

George Benjamin, Gerald Barry and David Bruce short-listed for British Composer Award 2013.

The Royal Opera commissions new work from George Benjamin and Martin Crimp

The Royal Opera commissions new work from George Benjamin and Martin Crimp

14 June 2013

Written on Skin composer and writer to create new opera that will have its premiere in 2018.

Photos