Award-winning and critically acclaimed British conductor and composer Benjamin Ellin is currently Music Director of Thursford Productions, Founder of the Contemporary Fusion ensemble Tafahum, Principal Conductor of the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of Focus Opera and President of Pembroke Academy of Music, London.
His belief in the positive power of music within society is reflected in the wide-ranging projects of which he is currently a major figurehead. From his own ensemble Tafahum, major projects and collaborations at London’s Southbank Centre, his own commissioned works with the First Nation communities of Alberta, Canada, to his commitment to outreach and development work as well as appearing on stage with leading ensembles across the globe, Ellin’s belief in a musical world without boundaries is equalled by a tireless commitment as a guest artist and as a Music Director.
His 2016/2017 Season holds many highlights. As Music Director he will lead the 125th Season of the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and the 40th Season of the ‘Thursford Spectacular’ in the UK. The season also includes the world premiere of his oratorio, ONE BEFORE ZERO, commissioned by the Orchestre de Picardie, as part of the centenary commemorations for the Battle of the Somme; all of this alongside concert tours with TAFAHUM, two recording projects and numerous guest conducting engagements including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris.
In recent seasons Benjamin has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hulencourt Soloists Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestre National de Lille, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra (Japan), St Petersburg Symphony, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Orchestra del Teatro Regio Turin, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, New Russian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Chambre de Catalogne and the Luxembourg Philharmonic amongst others.
A multiple award winner, Benjamin was a laureate and awarded the Public Prize from the inaugural Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition in 2007. 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. The New York Philharmonic’s Principal trombonist, Joseph Alessi, premiered his subsequent commission for a trombone concerto in April 2012 in the USA. Benjamin’s debut composition CD, Three States at Play, was widely praised when released in Spring 2012.
Benjamin has received commissions from organisations including the Hallé Orchestra, Orchestre Chambre D’Auvergne (France), Shanghai Opera, Trio Chausson, Concordia Foundation, Maison de la Culture (Amiens) and the SoWeCa International Festival and the Fort Macleod International Festival, Canada. New works include an oratorio, commissioned by the Orchestre de Picardie, as part of the centenary commemorations for the Battle of the Somme. The new work was premiered by the Orchestre de Picardie at the Maison de la Culture in Amiens on 11th November 2016.
Tafahum’s debut album, Osmosis, featuring mostly Benjamin’s own compositions, was released to critical acclaim in April 2016;
“…beguiling scored and intelligently structured…the music constantly evolves. Magical.” (Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, April 2016)