The life of composer George Benjamin

A brief guide to the career of George Benjamin 

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The life of composer George Benjamin
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1960 

Born in London, Benjamin goes to Westminster School. 

1976
Benjamin goes to study in Paris with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod, before returning to study at King’s College, Cambridge with Alexander Goehr. 

 

 

1980 
His orchestral piece Ringed by the Flat Horizon, written for the Cambridge University Musical Society, is performed at the BBC Proms, conducted by Mark Elder.

 

 

1987
After working with Pierre Boulez at IRCAM in Paris, Benjamin writes Antara for chamber orchestra and electronics, but composes little else until 1992. His conducting career begins to blossom. 

 

 

2001
He becomes professor of composition at King’s College, University of London, taking over from Harrison Birtwistle.

 

 

2006
His chamber opera Into the Little Hill, with a libretto by Martin Crimp, is premiered in Paris. At the UK premiere three years later, a power cut in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio leads to the piece being staged in the theatre bar.

 

 

2012
Written on Skin, his second large-scale opera, is staged in Aix-en-Provence. It has since been given nearly 100 performances.

 

 

2017
Awarded a CBE in 2010, seven years later George Benjamin is given a knighthood.

 

 

2018
Lessons in Love and Violence premieres at Covent Garden, with a cast including singers Barbara Hannigan and Stéphan Degout.

 

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