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Wallfisch, Benjamin

Benjamin Wallfisch (b.1979)

Benjamin Wallfisch is a young musician receiving consistent international acclaim for his work as a composer and conductor. Born in London in 1979, his teachers include Anthony Gilbert, Michael Finnissy, James MacMillan, Sir Charles Mackerras and Vernon Handley. He graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with First Class Honours and the Royal Academy of Music with the highest distinction and is the first composer to be awarded the Honorary Diploma of the Academy as well as every Academy composition prize.

Benjamin is currently Associate Composer of the Orchestra of St. John’s and since 1996 has received over 50 commissions from organisations including the Bath International Festival of Music (over three consecutive seasons), BBC, Chelmsford Festival, Dartington Summer School, English Chamber Orchestra, Goldberg Ensemble, Hallé, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Lake District Summer Music, Leamington Festival, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Park Lane Group, Royal College of Art and the Warwick Arts Society. Performers for whom he has written include the BBC Singers, Belcea Quartet, Coull Quartet, 4-mality, O Duo and Orchestre de Bretagne and the Philharmonia.

In 2003 Benjamin was invited to write a ballet score, 21, for the Rambert Dance Company for a work choreographed by Rafael Bonachela. This was premiered with great success at Saddler’s Wells and featured in the Company’s 2003/04 UK tour. His BBC Proms debut came in 2006 with his orchestral piece Escape Velocity, a work released to critical acclaim as part of a CD portrait of Benjamin’s work on the Quartz label.

Benjamin’s work has earned him multiple international awards and nominations, including an Ivor Novello Award Nomination for Best Original Film Score 2009 (for Rupert Wyatt’s The Escapist), a nomination in the 2009 Emmy® Awards and two nominations as ‘Discovery of The Year’ in the 2005 and 2008 World Soundtrack Awards. He made his debut as film composer at the age of 24, scoring Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier’s Dear Wendy and to date he has worked on 24 feature film scores. Benjamin orchestrated and conducted Dario Marianelli’s Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winning score for Atonement and his Academy Award® nominated score for Pride and Prejudice.

Awards and Nominations

• Best Original Score, 2006 Danish Film Academy Awards (Nomination) - Dear Wendy
• Discovery of the Year, 2005 World Soundtrack Awards (Nomination) - Dear Wendy
• Finalist and Prize Winner, 2002 Leeds Conductors’ Competition
• Winner, 2001 British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition
• 2002 Performing Right Society Foundation Scholarship
• 2002 Theodore Holland Intercollegiate Composition Prize
• 2002 Eric Coates Prize
• University of London: Royal Academy of Music Degree:
Master of Music with Distinction in Composition (2002)
• Honorary Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music (2002)
• Diploma in Professional Performance, Royal Northern College of Music (2001)
• Graduate Diploma of the Royal Northern College of Music (2001)
• University of Manchester Degree: Bachelor of Music, First Class Honours, (2000)
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