Award-winning and critically acclaimed British conductor and composer Benjamin Ellin is currently Music Director of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, co-founder, conductor and composer 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 including 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 2019/20 seasons continues to embrace a wide-range of work. His continued Musical Directorships in Thursford and Slaithwaite are combined with guest conducting in Russia and across Europe as well as further tours to China. His continued commitment to the Slaithwaite area also sees Benjamin launching a season of arts and outreach events at the Civic Hall in 2020. This season also includes performances of his trombone concerto, chamber and vocal works, a new piece for Violist Rivka Golani and the first version of his theatre work for Tafahum in early 2020. In addition, Benjamin will again be busy in the recording studio, with both works for the stage and screen.
In recent seasons Benjamin has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jena Philharmonic, Orchestre de Picardie, 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.
As a composer Benjamin’s work has been performed all over the world, in the concert hall, theatre and for the screen. Recent highlights have included his oratorio, ONE BEFORE ZERO, commissioned and premiered by the Orchestre de Picardie in 2016, as part of the centenary commemorations for the Battle of the Somme. Following performances in France it has also been performed in Slovakia and Germany under Benjamin’s direction: “…In addition to the two soloists and the boys’ choir, it was above all the composer who made the great tension of his oratorio audible on the podium of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra and allowed everyone involved to play with such intensity that the tension was transmitted to the audience.
Benjamin Ellin’s oratorio is able to move the hearts of the listeners and keep alive the memory of the traumatic conditions of the war. The warmth and cordiality with which Benjamin Ellin’s oratorio was received speaks for the openness of the Jena audience….” (Dietmar Ebert. 11/18, Jena)
His SINFONIA NO. 1 was recently performed at the Royal Opera House in London with the Royal Ballet School in 2017 as part of their Summer Showcase whilst his Violin Sonata has already been commercially recorded and released twice by different artists. Benjamin has received commissions from organisations including the Hallé Orchestra, Orchestre Chambre D’Auvergne (France), Orchestre de Picardie (France), Shanghai Opera, Trio Chausson, Concordia Foundation, Maison de la Culture (Amiens), the SoWeCa International Festival and the Fort Macleod International Festival, Canada.
A multiple award winner, Benjamin was a laureate and was 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 released in Spring 2012 to critical acclaim. Tafahums debut album ‘Osmosis’, featuring almost all Benjamin’s own compositions, was released to critical acclaim in April 2016;
“…beguilingly scored and intelligently structured…the music constantly evolves. Magical.”
(Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, April 2016)
Tafahum founders, Benjamin Ellin and Louai Alhenawi