BASCA’s British Composer Awards 2017 Photo by Mark Allan

Benjamin Oliver is a composer, conductor and jazz pianist. He is Associate Professor in Composition at the University of Southampton. More than sixty of his works have been performed by performers including Ensemble Paramirabo (Canada), London Sinfonietta, Yshani Perinpanayagam, Dorothy Chan (USA), Riot Ensemble, Elizabeth Kenny, Ivo Neame, Laefer Quartet and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He often collaborates with practitioners from other artforms such as poet Luke Wright, theatre-maker Rachel Warr, filmmaker and audiovisual artist Moe Myat May Zarchi (Myanmar) and with researchers outside music.

Ben’s work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, recorded and released by labels including Linn, Prima Facie and Coviello Contemporary, and twice selected by scorefollower. Loop Concerto was nominated in the Contemporary Jazz category of the British Composer Awards 2017, and Drip Feeder was shortlisted for the British section for the ISCM World New Music Days Festival 2024.

Birmingham Record Company (distributed by NMC) released his debut portrait CD – TOO MANY SWEETS – in April 2024.

Things some people have said:

“A strong casing of plastic here, an overload of E numbers, but somewhere in the mix are a bunch of terrific, living, breathing saxophonists having a whole lot of fun”
Kate Molleson on ‘Avalanche’

The Sun

“…discreetly inventive commentar[y]’
Jazzwise on piano playing on Dan Mar-Molinero’s Taproot

“Brilliant translation: science to music… One of the best pieces of scientific performance art I’ve ever seen/heard. Incredibly intellectually rewarding. Wonderful!”
Audience member feedback on The Virus Within: Hearing HIV

“New Ben Oliver highlight of 2nd half – cool, languorous, funky, superbly played…”
Caroline Potter on Beasts Bounding Through Time

“…a wonderful new piece by Benjamin Oliver…which sounded a little like King Crimson’s Robert Fripp guesting with the Young Marble Giants.”
Keith Bruce on Extending from the inside for solo theorbo

“It’s sort of Morton Feldman meets…well, you!”
Patrick Nunn on Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

“I loved your piece. Well, loved in the sense of taking pleasure in music sometimes so frightening it makes you feel like there are maggots in your stomach trying to eat their way out.”
Yshani Perinpanayagam on Lullaby for Joni

“From the Sublime to the Ridiculous…wryly exploits time-honoured pianistic gestures and flourishes. It’s closing chord is unexpectedly poignant.”
Paul Conway in Music Opinion

“He must have been drunk when he wrote this.”
Overheard Deal Festival audience member on Piano Trio (with whistles)