George Benjamin (born January 31, 1960) is a British composer of classical music, and also a conductor, pianist and teacher.
Born in London, he studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire during the second half of the 1970s, reputedly becoming Messiaen's favourite pupil.
He then read Music at King's College, Cambridge, studying under Alexander Goehr, and emerged in his early twenties as a surprisingly mature and confident voice. His Ringed by the Flat Horizon was premiered at the Proms concerts while he was still a student, making him the youngest composer ever to be performed in the Proms.
Since the 1980s he fulfilled a number of large commissions, including Sudden Time and Three Inventions (for orchestra) and Antara (for ensemble and electronics, realised at IRCAM).
He has also taught composition at the Royal College of Music, London, and King's College, London.
Benjamin's music is colourful and sometimes even flamboyant in style, but governed by an overriding seriousness. Benjamin's dedication to craft and expressivity make him an important figure in contemporary musical life.
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