Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Benjamin Wallfisch


Benjamin Wallfisch is an Emmy®, Ivor Novello and multiple World Soundtrack Award nominated composer. To date, he has worked on 29 feature films, working closely with directors including Terry Gilliam, Thomas Vinterberg, Lars von Trier, Joe Wright and Rupert Wyatt.

Wallfisch studied conducting in London with Sir Charles Mackerras and Vernon Handley and in Germany with Bruno Weil. He received first prize in the 2001 British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition with a unanimous vote from both the jury and the orchestra. He was appointed associate conductor of The English Chamber Orchestra at the age of 22 and, between 2003 and 2005, was assistant conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (NRPO). During this time, he assisted Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Edo de Waart and Leonard Slatkin and frequently conducted the NRPO in venues including the Concertgebouw, De Doelen Rotterdam and the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg and in numerous studio recordings.

Guest conducting engagements include the London and BBC symphonies, Philharmonia and Ulster orchestras and the City of London Sinfonia. He conducted the Sydney Symphony in a series of critically acclaimed live broadcast gala performances at the Sydney Opera House and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Other guest conducting highlights are with: the Bavarian Radio, Hamburg, Stuttgart Radio and Helsingborg symphony orchestras; the Zagreb and Netherlands philharmonic orchestra; the Staatskapelle Weimar; and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra. Future performances include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Slovakian Philharmonic, Israel Symphony and his debut at the Dvorák Prague Festival, conducting the Prague Philharmonia. In the US he collaborated with great success with the Monterey and North Carolina symphonies, and in 2012-13 he makes his debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Acclaimed by The Strad as “one of the finest accompanists anywhere on the podium,” Wallfisch has performed concertos with some of the world’s finest soloists in including Evelyn Glennie, Pekka Kuusisto, Freddy Kempf, Dame Felicity Lott, Branford Marsalis, Igor Oistrakh, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and John Williams. Alongside a number of his own orchestral works, he has recorded Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto with Ruth Palmer and the Philharmonia Orchestra, a disc of bassoon concertos with Karen Geoghegan and the Orchestra of Opera North for Chandos and concerto recordings with the London Symphony and the English Chamber orchestras.

Wallfisch began composing at the age of ten and since 1996 has received over 50 commissions for the concert hall, cinema, ballet and theatre. Wallfisch orchestrated and conducted Dario Marianelli’s Oscar® and Golden Globe® winning score for Atonement and has worked as lead orchestrator on numerous other studio pictures such as Pride and Prejudice (nominated for an Oscar® for Best Original Score 2006), V for Vendetta, The Soloist, Eat Pray Love, Jane Eyre and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. Most recently he arranged the music for the acclaimed feature documentary Life in a Day, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin MacDonald.

He made his BBC Proms debut in 2006, conducting the world premiere of Escape Velocity, the fourth work he composed during his tenure as associate composer of The Orchestra of St. John’s. His debut CD was released by Quartz in November 2006 to great critical acclaim and in August 2006, he signed an exclusive publishing agreement with Edition Peters.

Born in London in 1979, Wallfisch received his Master of Music degree with Distinction in composition from the Royal Academy of Music, and graduated from the Joint Course of the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester with First Class Honours. His composition teachers have included Anthony Gilbert, Michael Finnissy, James MacMillan and Robert Saxton.

Benjamin Wallfisch

photo Shambhala

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