RPS Composition Prize winner 2018 | RPS/Philharmonia Composers' Academy
Benjamin Ashby is an award-winning composer and artist from London. He was born in Wimbledon, but grew up on an estate in South East London as the son of a Christian missionary, and has since been heavily influenced by urban London culture and spirituality. He studied at the Royal College of Music with composers such as Kenneth Hesketh, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Simon Holt and was awarded the Douglas and Hilda Simmons Foundation and HR Taylor Trust Scholarships to study his Bachelors and Masters.
Ben is the recipient of the 2018 RPS Composition Prize for a chamber work commission with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Society Composers’ Academy led by Unsuk Chin. The commissioned work will feature in the 2019 Philharmonia’s Music of Today series at the Royal Festival Hall. He was a participant on the 2016/17 London Symphony Orchestra Panufnik Composers Scheme with Colin Matthews and Christian Mason, and his new work Desires will appear on the 3rd LSO Panufnik Legacies album.
In 2016 Ben was Composer in Residence for the Leicester International Music Festival directed by Nicholas Daniel, his new work for string quartet Beatitude premiered by the RPS Prize winning Carducci Quartet. He was commissioned by Gestalt Arts Opera in 2014 for the chamber opera Clive performed at the Asylum in Peckham, and by the National Gallery in 2013, generously funded by the Belle Shenkman Trust, to commemorate the painting ‘The Entombment” by Michelangelo.
Ben was a participant on the Advanced Composition course at Dartington International Summer School in 2012 with Detlev Glanert, and in 2014 with Colin Matthews, generously supported by the RVW Trust and Elmgrant Trust, respectively. He was also a participant on the 2014 St. Magnus International Music Festival composition course (generously supported by Help Musicians UK) with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Alasdair Nicolson and Sally Beamish, his work receiving performances by the BBC Singers and Fidelio Trio.
Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director, Chineke! Foundation; Founder, principal Double Bass, OAE: As a musician it feels vital to be part of the RPS family, and its endeavours to go-all-out for the sake of music.
DID YOU KNOW?
An early member of the Society, who played in our first season in 1813, was the Afro-European violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower (1778-1860) – the original dedicatee of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.