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"Daring and expressive"

Classical Source

 

 

Biography

Winner of the NCEM Composers Award (2012) and Leeds International Film Festival Best Documentary Soundtrack (2013). He has received numerous commissions and international performances including from Merton College Oxford (2014), York Minster (2015) The Tower of London (2017), The London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (2018) and Emmanuel College Cambridge (2019). Following commissions for extended orchestral works from the Edinburgh Incidental Orchestra and Durham University Symphony Orchestra, his 2016 commission The Turn, a forty minute work for voices, has received multiple repeat performances including, most recently, in Spectrum, New York (USA). 

Ben has been commercially recorded by ‘ORA’, ‘The Rodolfus Choir’ and ‘The Fieri Consort’. His work has also received regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, including by internationally acclaimed ensemble ‘The Tallis Scholars’. Ben has also composed two live soundtracks for plays receiving exceptional reviews. The Fieri Consort’s recent recording of The Turn was made BBC Music Magazine Choice Disc of the Month in the choral and song genre, April 2018.

Recent highlights include the completion of an extended, eight voice work entitled The Short Walk of a Madman that was commissioned and recorded by The Fieri Consort; it engages with issues of immigration, belonging and mental health whilst pushing the boundaries of technical writing for vocal ensembles. Over the last year, Ben also collaborated with Yanwen Xeng to create an installation featuring live singers, electronic music and dance which received its first performance at the Royal College of Art. Ben is currently working on the music for a collaborative installation with Darren Johnston and Jamie Wright and commissions from ‘Siglo De Oro’ and ‘Fulham Camerata’, where he holds the position of Composer in Residence.  

Outside of composition, Ben began his musical life as a chorister at Hexham Abbey where he later went on to sing bass and became organ scholar for year 2009-2010. Following undergraduate and postgraduate music degrees at Durham and York Universities, Ben now performs regularly as a Baritone soloist, recently playing the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galetea and Plutone in Monteverdi’s Orfeo and in a number of ensembles around the UK including Britten Sinfonia, The OAE, I Fagiolini and The BBC Singers.

Following his Organ Scholarship at Hexham Abbey Ben went on to become ‘Interim Director of Music’ in University College Durham in 2011.  Having also spent time conducting University College Orchestra in Durham and guest conducting a number of choirs in the North East and around London, he now manages and conducts his own professional ensemble ‘Renaissance’.

Recent Highlights:

January 2019 - commission from Emmanuel College Cambridge:

The Lord is our Refuge, SATB, 4’

September 2018 - launch of new CD by Fieri Consort, “The Unknown Traveller”, featuring:

Short Walk of a Madman, SSAATTBB solo voices, 30’

 

Upcoming:

June 2019 - performance by the Fieri Consort, Cork, Ireland:

The Turn, SSATBarB, 40’