Award winning British conductor and composer Benjamin Ellin is currently Music Director of Thursford Productions, Principal Conductor of the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Southbank Centre’s Soundbank Ensemble, Music Director of Focus Opera and President of Pembroke Academy of Music, London.
In recent seasons Benjamin has performed with Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra (Japan), St Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Orchestra del Teatro Regio Turin, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, New Russian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Chambre de Catalogne and the Luxembourg Philharmonic amongst others. Immediate plans include return visits to orchestras in Japan, France, Russia, Canada and USA, combined with his commitments across the UK.
A committed, active and innovative figure in musical collaboration and access for all, Benjamin was Director of Music at the Pembroke Academy in South London from 2006-2010. In 2010 he was made President of the Academy as a reflection of his achievements over his tenure as Director. As a collaborater, Benjamin has enjoyed working closely with musicians from across the Middle East, Asia, North America and Russia, and has worked in dance, theatre and across a range of multi-media. In 2008 he began his close relationship with Ney Soloist Louai Alhenawi. Their debut London concert in 2008 featured Ellin’s Concerto for Ney and Orchestra Tafahum, and a debut album of the same name is planned for 2012.
Additionally, Benjamin’s ongoing relationship with London’s Southbank Centre has resulted in major collaborations with Dan Zanes. Benjamin also took a major role within the 2011 Festival of Britain as conductor, composer and arranger.
In September 2009 Benjamin was awarded the Barlow Endowment Prize for composition, becoming only the second British composer in twenty-five years to be awarded the prize. His subsequent commission for a trombone concerto will be premiered by the New York Philharmonic’s Principal trombonist, Joseph Alessi, in April 2012. Benjamin’s debut composition CD, Three States at Play, is scheduled for release in early 2012.
Benjamin has received commissions from soloists such as Rivka Golani, Robert Cohen, Andrei Korobeinikov, Veronika Ilinskaya and Ilona Domnich and organisations including the Shanghai Opera, Trio Chausson, Concordia Foundation, Maison de la Culture in Amiens and the Fort Macleod International Festival, Canada. His works have been performed in Russia, France, Norway, Canada, China and across the UK. In 2010 Benjamin was a featured artist at the Imaginez Maintenant Festival in Amiens. Commissions now in progress include his first opera Welcome to Deen, a work for double string quartet and a major collaborative work with the Blackfoot people of Alberta, Canada . In 2007 Benjamin became one of the first classical composers to sign a deal with the Prince’s Trust Music Publishing, and also featured in BBC Music Magazine in their Rising Stars feature.
A multiple award winner, Benjamin was awarded 1st Prize and the Public Prize from the inaugural Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition in 2007. Alongside his success with the 2009 Barlow Foundation, Benjamin was also presented with the highest honour of an eagle feather from the Siksika Chieftains in Canada as a reflection of gratitude for his composition ‘Siksika’, commissioned by Rivka Golani in 2010. In 2011 Benjamin was invited to attend a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip for young people working in the performing arts.