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George Benjamin Named 2014 Composer of the Year by Musical America

Nov. 07, 2013

George Benjamin Named 2014 Composer of the Year by Musical America

Musical America has announced George Benjamin as recipient of its 2014 Composer of the Year Award, which recognizes artistic excellence and achievement in the arts. Hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most formidable composers of his generation,” Benjamin was named one of London’s most influential people in 2013 by the Evening Standard. The annual Musical America Awards are presented in a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York on December 17.

From the Musical America press release:

George Benjamin began studies at age 15 with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. His first orchestral work, Ringed by the Flat Horizon, was written at 20 and conducted by Pierre Boulez. A spectacular career ensued, with works for varied instrumental combinations creating rich textures and harmonic beauty. His sharp ear for poetry and precision was thrillingly revealed in his 2012 opera, Written on Skin, premiered at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and available on a Nimbus CD set and DVD. In nearly 40 international performances, it has received universal praise. The piece tells one of the oldest stories in the world, a triangular tale of sexual curiosity, rhapsodic love, and violent jealousy. But it does so in a language all its own, at once exquisitely wrought and devastatingly raw. When Written on Skin received its U.S. premiere in concert at Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music in August, Jeremy Eichler in the Boston Globe called it a "complexly beautiful 21st-century score, one that carries forward the worlds of Debussy and Berg without surrendering to either one."

On November 5, Written on Skin was webcast on New York’s Q2 Music, WQXR’s online music station, with a broadcast of the US concert premiere from the 2013 Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. The broadcast is available to stream at for six months following the initial webcast.

For further information on George Benjamin, please visit

Details on the 2014 Musical America Awards can be found at

George Benjamin
Written on Skin (2012)

opera in three parts

text (Eng) by Martin Crimp

for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and countertenor

3(2.pic, 3.pic & afl).2.2.bcl(cl).cbcl.2(2.cbsn)-4.4(1.ptpt).3.1-4perc-harp-glass harmonica–bass viola da gamba-str(

ca. 95’