Benjamin Oliver


Benjamin Oliver (b. 1981) is a composer of, in the main, contemporary instrumental music. Nearly sixty of his works have been performed, his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and his Loop Concerto for jazz trio and large ensemble was nominated in the Contemporary Jazz category of the British Composer Awards 2017. His musical ideas often contain loops that reference jazz and other riff-based music but are combined, or offset by, a fascination with mechanical devices and systematic processes. He is Associate Professor in Composition and Head of Department of Music at the University of Southampton and conductor of Workers Union Ensemble.

Key musical collaborators include: pianist Yshani Perinpanayagam (Kammer Klang, 2017); Ensemble Paramirabo (Montreal, 2016); London Sinfonietta (‘Alternative Visions @ The BFI’, 2014; ‘Notes to the New Government’, 2015; Sinfonietta Academy 2016; Sinfonietta Short for solo percussion, 2017); ensemble mise-en (Mise-en Music Festival 2014 & 2018, New York); BBC Symphony Orchestra (SaM commission, 2013); Århus Sinfonietta (Sounds New, 2011); jazz pianist Ivo Neame (The Loop Project, 2017); and theorbo player Elizabeth Kenny.

Upcoming projects include The Driver with poet Luke Wright for Riot Ensemble and a new large-scale theatre piece for Ensemble Paramirabo with members of Workers Union Ensemble for puppeteers and ensemble, Pythagoras' Toolkit, which is being developed in collaboration with theatre director Rachel Warr.


Photography by Markus Kinch

United Kingdom