George Benjamin began composing at the age of 7. In 1976, he entered the Paris Conservatory in Olivier Messiaen’s class before working with Alexander Goehr at King’s College Cambridge.
At the young age of 20, he heard Ringed by the Flat Horizon played at the BBC Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mark Elder. The London Sinfonietta, under the baton of Simon Rattle, premiered At First Light two years later. Antara was commissioned for the 10th anniversary of the Centre Pompidou in 1987 and Three Inventions was composed for the 75th edition of the Salzbourg Festival in 1995. The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Pierre Boulez, premiered Palimpsests in 2002 for inauguration of By George, a portrait dedicated to him throughout the concert season at the Barbican Center in London. During the last decade, there have been several retrospectives of his work in Strasbourg, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Lucerne, London, Aldeburgh, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Aix, Turin, and Milan.
In 2006, the Festival d’Automne in Paris commissioned Benjamin’s first opera, Into the Little Hill, a collaboration with the playwright Martin Crimp. Their second collaboration, Written on Skin, premiered at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July 2012, and has subsequently been presented in twenty opera houses worldwide. George Benjamin conducted the British performance at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in March 2013; the production was recorded and broadcast on BBC TV.
George Benjamin is regularly invited to lead prestigious orchestral groups including the London Sinfonietta, the Ensemble Modern, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonia , the Berliner Philharmoniker, and has developed a closer relationship with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
George Benjamin has conducted the premieres of several of works, among them scores by Rihm, Chin, Grisey, and Ligeti, and his repertoire ranges from Schumann and Wagner to Abrahamsen, Knussen, and Murail. Since his first performance in 1999 at Tanglewood in the United States, he has frequently performed and taught there.
Composition professor at King’s College London since 2001, George Benjmain lives in London. His works are published by Faber Music and recroded on Nimbus Records.