Benjamin Oliver is a composer, conductor, electronic musician and pianist. He was born in 1981 and grew up in Chatham, Kent, in the UK. He left home for Yorkshire and in 2005 graduated from the University of Leeds with distinction in his MMus in Composition. He completed his DPhil in Composition with Sam Hayden at the University of Sussex in 2010. He received financial support from the AHRC and a 2006 PRS Foundation Scholarship for his doctoral work.
Ben’s music has been commissioned and performed internationally and in the UK by ensembles and soloists including: London Sinfonietta (Sounds New 2012; ‘Alternative Visions @ The BFI’, 2014; ‘Notes to the New Government’, 2015, London Sinfonietta Academy 2016); ensemble mise-en (Mise-en Music Festival 2014, New York); BBC Symphony Orchestra (SAM Commission, broadcast BBC Radio 3); Stsura/Foyle/Lang Piano Trio (Deal Festival 2015); Yshani Perinpanayagam; Elizabeth Kenny (Cumnock Tryst 2014); Kent County Youth Orchestra and jazz pianist Ivo Neame (Kent Music Commission 2014); Orkest de Ereprijs (International Young Composers Meeting 2010, The Netherlands); Ostrava Banda (Ostrava Days Festival 2009, Czech Republic); Aarhus Sinfonietta (Sounds New 2011); Mercury Quartet; Leeds University Union Symphony Orchestra; Black Dyke and Rothwell Temperance Brass Bands; Dan Stern’s Woodwork (London Jazz Festival 2008); The Mobius Ensemble with Hackney CYM Children’s Choir (Spitalfields Festival 2010); Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir; Musarc (London Festival of Architecture 2010); Riot Ensemble and Juice Vocal Ensemble; Emanuele Torquati; Kosmos; and Leeds Sinfonia.
Ben was chosen as one of two winners of the International Composer Pyramid (ICP) 2010, set-up by the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, UK, with Coups de Vents, France. He was also chosen as one of three winners of the ICP 2011 and his piece was voted best in the audience votes in both England and France in the ICP 2012. He is one of Sound and Music’s New Voices 2014 and his music has been broadcast on Radio 3 and Resonance FM.
Ben was appointed as Lecturer in Composition at the University of Southampton in 2012 and is conductor of the Workers Union Ensemble. He is currently working on a number of commissions including a work for Montreal-based Ensemble Paramaribo; and a London Sinfonietta ‘Short’ for solo percussion.
He lives in Southampton with his family and imaginary dog.