An English composer born January 31, 1960 in United Kingdom.
Trained as a pianist, George Benjamin studied in Paris with Yvonne Loriod and Olivier Messiaen before following the teaching of Alexander Goehr at King’s College, Cambridge (1978-1982). From 1985 to 1987 he learned electroacoustic techniques at Ircam (Antara, 1987). As well as a composer he is a conductor and has been a composition teacher at the Royal College of Music in London and King’s College. Polymorphous, Benjamin’s output reflects the influences of his earliest masters, as well as of Alban Berg, Henri Dutilleux, György Ligeti and Pierre Boulez.
While avoiding serial techniques, his music is enriched with spectral music and even jazz. Whether inspired by painting (A Mind of Winter, for soprano and orchestra, 1981; At First Light, for chamber orchestra, 1982) or based on a dramatic text (Into the Little Hill, first staged at the Bastille Opera during the Festival d'Automne in 2006), his compositions, ever since his first work for orchestra Ringed by the Flat Horizon (1980), premiered at the BBC Proms, to his opera Written on Skin, written in collaboration with the dramatist Martin Crimp and first performed in 2012 at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, reveal his mastery of orchestral writing and a poetic intensity marked above all by expressivity, harmonic fullness and the melodic dimension.