George Benjamin

George Benjamin
Country:United Kingdom
Period:Contemporary classical music


George William John Benjamin, CBE (born 31 January 1960) is a British composer of classical music. He is also a conductor, pianist and teacher.

Benjamin's oeuvre has been described as exhibiting "consummate craftsmanship" coloured by "a love of rich and unusually coloured sonorities".[1]

Benjamin taught composition at the Royal College of Music, London, for sixteen years, where he became the first Prince Consort Professor of Composition before he succeeded Sir Harrison Birtwistle as Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King's College London in January 2001. Benjamin has been a teacher and mentor to such younger composers as Luke Bedford and Dai Fujikura.
Benjamin was born in London. He attended Westminster School and then studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire during the second half of the 1970s. Messiaen was reported to have described Benjamin as his favourite pupil.[3]

He then read music at King's College, Cambridge, studying under Alexander Goehr, and emerged in his early twenties as a mature and confident voice. His orchestral piece Ringed by the Flat Horizon (written for the Cambridge University Musical Society and premiered in Cambridge under the baton of Mark Elder on 5 March 1980) was performed at The Proms that August, while he was still a student, making him the youngest living composer ever to have had music performed at the Proms.

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