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Sir George Benjamin, who was born 1960 in London, started composing at the age of seven. In 1974 he began regular music studies in his native city, moving to Paris two years later to study with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod; from 1978 to 1982, he completed his education with Alexander Goehr at King’s College, Cambridge. The orchestral works Ringed by the Flat Horizon, which was premiered by the BBC Proms in 1980, and At First Light (1982) marked Benjamin’s breakthrough to international acclaim. In 2002, Pierre Boulez and the London Symphony Orchestra gave the premiere of Palimpsests, which opened a portrait series dedicated to him at London’s Barbican Centre. Benjamin unveiled his first music theater work, Into the Little Hill, at the Paris Festival d’Automne in 2006. This was followed by Written on Skin in 2012 at the Festival Aix-en-Provence, which also sets a libretto by Martin Crimp and which has since been performed by 20 other companies; he continued his collaboration with Lessons in Love and Violence at the Royal Opera House in London in 2018. The last decade has seen multi-concert retrospectives of the works of Benjamin, who was composer-in-residence at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2008, in San Francisco, Aldeburgh, Ojai, Frankfurt a. M., Aix-en-Provence, Milan, Turin, London, Toronto, New York, Dortmund, and Amsterdam. He is a resident artist with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in the 2018-19 season. Sir George Benjamin is additionally a successful conductor and has led the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, and the Ensemble Modern. He is Professor of Composition at King’s College London. A Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Benjamin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017.
George Benjamin was introduced for the first time as a conductor at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in 2008 in a concert with the Ensemble intercontemporain and in performances of his opera Into the Little Hill.