Tim Benjamin is a successful composer best known for opera, including the critically acclaimed RIP and Silent Jack (2015), Madame X (2014) and Emily (2013), along with music for film and TV, and the concert hall. He is also well regarded as an opera director, writer, and public speaker.
Tim’s recent projects include LIFE STORIES, a double bill of one-act operas, which toured in July 2015 to considerable critical acclaim, and appeared at the 2015 Tête-à-Tête Festival in London (produced by Radius).
“Tim Benjamin gives a masterclass in how to create a one-handed opera twice over in his Life Stories … If Harold Pinter had ever written an opera, this would surely be it.” — Bachtrack on Life Stories at Tête-à-Tête, July 2015
Opera and theatre. With his company Radius he has created operas including The Corley Conspiracy (commissioned by and first performed at the 2007 London Design Festival), Le Gâteau d’Anniversaire (commissioned by CNIPAL and first performed at Opéra de Marseille), Mrs Lazarus (first performed at the Southbank Centre, London), and A Dream of England (first performed at Wigmore Hall, London), and The Rosenhan Experiment, first performed in London (South Bank) in 2008 and on tour, revived in 2013 with a new orchestration, and touring nationally in recent years with Madame X (2014) and LIFE STORIES (2015).
Electronica. Tim performs as a solo electronica artist (under his own name), offering a distinctive style of jazz-infused, richly textured and organic-sounding electronic music. The music originates from sources such as natural and mechanical sounds, collaborations with acoustic performers, and Tim’s own (largely hand-made) modular synthesizer. His debut album of electronic music, Fractures, is released in September 2015.
Tim is a regular writer and speaker on music and related subjects, appearing at TEDx in 2015. He also teaches music theory and is an examiner in music theory for the ABRSM. He is the Artistic Director of the opera company Radius. In his spare time he climbs mountains, creates electronic music, and plays trombone, piano, organ and viola.
Awards. Tim won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Composer’s Award in 1993, at the age of 17, with his work Antagony, practically scored for two large wind bands, amplified strings, and six percussionists, yet somehow brilliantly performed by the London Sinfonietta under Martyn Brabbins and broadcast on national radio and TV. He also won the Stephen Oliver Trust’s Prize for Contemporary Opera, for his first opera The Bridge, which has been produced twice, in Manchester at ISCM World Music Days and in London at the Covent Garden Festival.
Academic. Tim Benjamin studied composition with Anthony Gilbert at the Royal Northern College of Music (BMus Hons 1st class), privately with the late Steve Martland (in whose memory he created and funds the Steve Martland Scholarship), and with Robert Saxton at Oxford University where he received a doctorate (DPhil Oxon; his thesis was Economics of New Music). He previously attended Christ’s Hospital in West Sussex.