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Biographical Notes
Selected Works
Conducted Works

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Biographical Notes

Benjamin Wallfisch was born in London in August 1979 and began playing the piano at 5, composing at 6 and has been conducting since he was 14.

Between 1993 and 1997, he attended the Guildhall School of Music (Dept. of Initial Studies), and in 1997 obtained a place on the prestigious 'Joint Course' run concurrently by the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester, studying composition with Anthony Gilbert. In 2000 he graduated from the University with First Class Honours and the Proctor-Gregg award for outstanding achievement in composition.

In 2001 he was awarded the GRNCM and PPRNCM diplomas with Distinction, the Edward Hecht Composition Prize and the Performing Right Society Foundation Scholarship for Postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music, during which time he studied with Michael Finnissy. The Academy recently awarded Benjamin the degree of Master of Music in Composition with Distinction, and he is the first composer in the Academy's history to be awarded an honourary DipRAM degree. He also won every major Academy composition prize including the Oliviera Prescott Prize, the Eric Coates Prize, the Mosco Carner Prize, and the coveted Theodore Holland Prize, an inter-collegiate competition open to composers elected by all four of the Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom.

Since 1998 Benjamin has received commissions and/or world premières from the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata (featured as Première of the Month in Classical Music Magazine), Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Coull Quartet, Trio Tagarela, Bath International Music Festival, Leamington Festival, Chelmsford Cathedral Festival, RNCM New Ensemble, Royal Academy of Music, Gallimaufry Ensemble and the Park Lane Group and has had works performed at venues such as the Bridgewater Hall, Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall.

He was Composer-in-Residence for the 2001 Goldberg Ensemble Contemporary Music Festival, has worked closely with the BBC Singers, and has had works broadcast on BBC Radio.

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In 2002 he collaborated with the Royal College of Art on a multimedia piece performed in the Bath International Music Festival of that year and also composed ballet music commissioned by the Central School of Ballet and the Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. He recently completed a major ballet commissioned by the Rambert Dance Company which received its London première in Sadler’s Wells in May 2003 and was featured in the companyís 2003 national tour.

In September 2002 Benjamin was apointed Associate Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra, whom he has conducted on numerous occasions in their current season at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Marlborough College and Thaxted Festival. He made his BBC Proms debut last season conducting the ECO Ensemble in the World Première of a piece by Joseph Phibbs, is currently Series Director of the ECO Young Artists Series (‘Critic’s Choice’ - Time Out) and was recently invited to conduct the ECO’s Royal Gala Concert in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle.

A Finalist and prize winner at the 2002 Leeds Conductors’ Competition, Benjamin was awarded First Prize in the 2001 British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition, with a unanimous vote from both Jury and Orchestra.

Benjamin is Assistant Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra whom he has recently conducted at the Concertgebouw and in studio recordings. In this and future seasons he has been invited to guest conduct orchestras such as the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Ulster Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic with Evelyn Glennie as soloist, Orchestre de Bretagne and the Guildford Philharmonic.

Wallfisch has recently been invited to become Associate Composer of OSJ (Orchestra of St Johnís); a position he takes up in 2004 when he will also be collaborating with Sanctuary Classics on a series of discs of his music, which will be released on the Black Box label.

Benjamin has recently been invited to be a member of the Music Jury for the 2004 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards.

Benjamin is represented by IMG Artists

selected works
conducted works

"Wallfisch must be one of the finest accompanists anywhere on the podium."
Annette Morreau, The Strad, May 2003

"Benjamin Wallfisch is one of the most exciting young musicians to appear on the UK music scene in recent years. His ability as conductor, composer and pianist is quite outstanding and we all look forward to an invigorating future collaboration with him."
Quintin Ballardie, Artistic Director, English Chamber Orchestra

"For many the [2002 Leeds Conductors'] Competition's major discovery has been Benjamin Wallfisch, at 23 the youngest entrant, and a conductor of tremendous potential. A carefully nurtured and structured career could provide this country with the next Simon Rattle."
David Denton, Yorkshire Post, 23.9.02

"He brought to the piece genuine tension, a very crisp beat and a timpani thwack in the Infernal Dance that I shall carry to the grave. Under his baton the Opera North Orchestra sparkled and glowed as they never quite did elsewhere."
Geoff Brown, The Times, 23.3.02

"Wallfisch brings out the glitter of the 'Firebird' Suite, plus a sense of the exhilaratingly unexpected"
Martin Hoyle, Time Out, 2.9.02

"The highlight was the PLG commission, a trio from Benjamin Wallfisch that drew remarkable textures from the instruments. Here was a composer who had rethought, in an arresting way, the potential of the instruments for which he was writing."
Andrew Clements, Guardian, 18.01.02

Selected Compositions

ORCHESTRAL
Elegy (2002), Symphony Orchestra, 12 min
Silicon Rhapsody (1998), Symphony Orchestra, 5 min
Sudden Light (2000), Double String Orchestra, 15 min
ENSEMBLE
Suite (2002), Sinfonietta, 6 min
Speaking Silence (2001), 14 Strings, 9 min
VOCAL
2 Haiku (2002), Chamber Choir, 9 min
Mirage (2001), Soprano and 12 Strings, 14 min
Agnus Dei (2001), Chamber Choir, 4 min
Sappho (2000), Mezzo and Ensemble, 6 min
Nightingale (1999), Soprano, Cello and Piano, 10 min
CHAMBER
Duo (2003) for violoncello and piano 12 mim
Quintet (2002), Wind Quintet, 8 min
Impulse (2002), 2 marimbas and piano or 2 pianos, 6 min
Trio (2001), Recorder Trio, 12 min
Prelude (2001), Guitar Solo, 2 min
3 Haiku (2001), Soprano and Recorder, 6 min
Quartet (2001), String Quartet, 9 min
Prism (2001), Piano Trio and Tape, 9 min
Recitative (2001), Electric Violin, Violin and Cello, 5 min
T-Rex (2001), Violin, Cello, Clarinet and Piano, 6 min
Æternam (2000), 3 celli and piano, 6 min
Pulse (2000), Saxophone Quartet and Percussion, 5 min
OTHER
21 (2003) electroacoustic 21 min - it is the Rambert piece.
Echo Tense (2002), Flute,Quadrophonic Sound Projection, Video, 9 min
Krotos (2002), Tape, Dance, 8 min

Conducting Repertoire Includes:

  • Adams: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
  • Adams: Gnarly Buttons
  • Adams: Shaker Loops
  • Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
  • Barber: Adagio for Strings
  • Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra
  • Beethoven: Egmont Overture
  • Beethoven: Concerto for violin and orchestra
  • Beethoven: Symphony Nº 3 Eroica
  • Beethoven: Symphony Nº 5
  • Beethoven: Symphony Nº 7
  • Beethoven: Symphony Nº 9
  • Berg: Violin Concerto
  • Berlioz: Nuits d'Ete
  • Berlioz: The Trojans
  • Bliss: Suite from the film 'Things to Come'
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 4
  • Bruch: Violin Concerto
  • Britten: Four Sea Interludes
  • Britten: St. Nicholas
  • Copland: Appalachian Spring (Original Instrumentation)
  • Copland: Four Dance Episodes from 'Rodeo'
  • Debussy: Prélude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
  • Dvorak: Czech Suite
  • Dvorak: Nocturne
  • Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma'
  • Faure: Elegy
  • Noel Gay: Me and My Girl
  • Gershwin: Cuban Overture
  • Gounod: Faust
  • Grieg: Holberg Suite
  • Handel: Alcina
  • Haydn: Cello Concerto in C Major
  • Holst: The Planets
  • Lerner & Loewe: Camelot
  • Lehar: The Merry Widow
  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
  • Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 33
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 35 'Haffner'
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 40
  • Mozart: Requiem Mass
  • Phibbs: La Noche Arroladora
  • Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
  • Prokoviev: Romeo and Juliet Suites
  • Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
  • Rautavaara: The Fiddlers
  • Rimsky Korsakov: Scheherazade
  • Saint-Saens: Symphony Nº 2
  • Schönberg: Pierrot Lunaire
  • Schönberg: Pierrot Lunaire
  • Schubert: Symphony No. 5
  • Schubert: Symphony No. 8 Unfinished
  • Shostakovich: Symphony Nº 5
  • Sibelius: Concerto for violin and orchestra in E minor
  • Sibelius: Concerto for violin and orchestra in E minor
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
  • J. Strauss: The Beautiful Blue Danube
  • Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos
  • Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
  • Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps
  • Stravinsky: Suite 'The Firebird' (1919)
  • Stravinsky: Symphony in C
  • Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6
  • Tippett: Suite in D
  • Vaughan Williams: Job
  • Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 2

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