Arthur Leslie Benjamin (September 18, 1893, Sydney – April 10, 1960, London) was an Australian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. Professor Arthur T Benjamin is an American Mathematician who specializes in Combinatorics. Events 96 - Nerva is proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian is assassinated Year 1893 ( MDCCCXCIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 Events 879 - Louis III becomes King of the Western Franks. 1407 - the lama Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance He is best known as the composer of Jamaican Rhumba, composed in 1938.
He was born in Sydney, but at age 3 his parents moved to Brisbane. Brisbane ( is the state capital of Queensland. Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia and the most populous city of Queensland At the age of six he made his first public appearance as a pianist and his formal musical training began three years later with the Brisbane City organist, George Sampson. In 1911, Benjamin won a scholarship from Brisbane Grammar School to the Royal College of Music (RCM), where he studied composition with Charles Villiers Stanford, harmony and counterpoint with Thomas F Dunhill, and piano with Frederick Cliffe. Brisbane Grammar School (BGS is an independent, Non-denominational, day and Boarding school for boys located in Spring Hill The Royal College of Music is a well known conservatoire located in the South Kensington district of London, England, and one Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (30 September 1852 &ndash 29 March 1924 was an Irish composer resident in England for much of his life Thomas Frederick Dunhill (b Hampstead, London 1 February 1877 d
In 1914 he joined the Officer Training Corps, receiving a temporary commission in April 1915. He served initially in the infantry as 2nd Lieutenant with the 32nd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and in November 1917 he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. On 31 July 1918 his aircraft was shot down over Germany by the young Hermann Goering, and he spent the remainder of the war as a German prisoner of war at Rühleben camp near Berlin. Hermann Wilhelm Göring (also spelled Goering) (12 January 1893 15 October 1946 was a German Politician, Military leader and a leading member Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. There he met the composer Edgar Bainton, who had been interned since 1914, and who was later to become Director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music. Edgar Leslie Bainton ( 14 February 1880 &ndash 8 December 1956) was a British Composer, most celebrated for his church
The manuscript of the unpublished Violin Sonata in E minor bears the date 1918, the only surviving work of that year and one of very few to be written by Benjamin during the war.
He returned to Australia in 1919 and became piano professor at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music (now the Sydney 'Con'). He returned to England in 1921 to become piano professor at the RCM. Following his appointment in 1926 to a professorship which he held for the next thirteen years at the RCM, Benjamin developed a distinguished career as a piano teacher. His better-known students from that era include Muir Mathieson, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Miriam Hyde, Joan Trimble, Stanley Bate, Bernard Stevens, Lamar Crowson, Alun Hoddinott, Natasha Litvin (later Stephen Spender's wife and a prominent concert pianist) and Benjamin Britten, whose ‘Holiday Diary’ suite for solo piano is dedicated to Benjamin and mimics many of his teacher’s mannerisms. James Muir Mathieson ( 24 January 1911, Stirling, Scotland &mdash 2 August 1975, London) was a British Peggy Glanville-Hicks (29 December 1912 Melbourne &ndash25 June 1990 Sydney) was an Australian Composer. Miriam Beatrice Hyde AO, OBE ( January 15, 1913 - January 11, 2005) was an Australian Composer Stanley Bate (December 12 1911 - October 19 1959 was an English Composer and pianist Bernard (George Stevens, born 2 March 1916 in London, died 6 January 1983 in Colchester, England was a significant British composer Alun Hoddinott CBE ( August 11, 1929 &ndash March 12, 2008) was the first Welsh Composer of Classical Natasha Lady Spender (born London, 1921 is an English Author and former Pianist. Sir Stephen Harold Spender CBE, ( 28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995) was an English Poet, Novelist Edward Benjamin Britten Baron Britten, OM CH (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976 was an English Composer, conductor,
He continued writing chamber works for the next few years – ’Three Pieces for violin & piano’ (1919-24); ‘Three Impressions’ (voice & string quartet, 1919); ‘Five Pieces for Cello’ (1923); ‘Pastoral Fantasy’ (string quartet, 1924), which won a Carnegie Award that year; ‘Sonatina’ (violin and piano, 1924).
Orchestral works became more common after 1927 – 'Rhapsody on Negro Themes' (MS 1919); ‘Concertino’ for piano and orchestra (1926/7); ‘Light Music Suite’ (1928); ‘Overture to an Italian Comedy’ (1937); ‘Cotillon’ Suite (1938). The Overture to an Italian Comedy for Orchestra was composed in 1936 by Australian composer Arthur Benjamin; it was first performed There also appeared over twenty meticulously crafted songs and choral settings.
He was also an adjudicator and examiner for the Associated Board, which led him to places such as Australia, Canada and the West Indies. The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or ABRSM is an educational body that provides examinations in music. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The Caribbean (ˌkærəˡbiən kæ'rəbiən Cariben|Caraïben or Caraïben; Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Caribe is a Region consisting It was in the West Indies that he discovered the native tune on which he based his best-known piece, "Jamaican Rhumba", one of Two Jamaican Pieces, composed in 1938, for which the Jamaican government gave him a free barrel of rum a year as thanks for making their country known. Two Jamaican Pieces is an Orchestral suite composed in 1938 by Arthur Benjamin and using melodies from the West Indies.
The Violin Concerto of 1932 was premiered by Antonio Brosa with Benjamin condudcting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Antonio Brosa was a Spanish violinist (1894-1979 He was a great friend of Benjamin Britten, who consulted him on the difficulties of Britten's concerto In 1935 he accompanied the 10-year old Canadian cellist Lorne Munroe on a concert tour of Europe. Three years later he wrote a ‘Sonatina’ for Munroe, who later became the principal cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and also recorded the piece. The Philadelphia Orchestra is an Orchestra based in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, in the United States. The New York Philharmonic is the oldest active Symphony Orchestra in the United States, organized during 1842
His Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola and Orchestra was premiered by Jascha Heifetz and William Primrose in 1938. Jascha Heifetz (ˈhaɪfɪts was a Lithuanian born American Violin Virtuoso ( &ndash December 10, 1987) William Primrose CBE ( August 23, 1904 - May 1, 1982) was a Scottish violist and teacher probably the best
He resigned from his post at the RCM and left to settle in Vancouver, Canada, where he remained for the duration of the war. Vancouver (vænˈkuːvɚ is a coastal In 1941 he was appointed conductor of the newly-formed Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Symphony Orchestra, holding the post until 1946. During this time he gave “literally hundreds” of Canadian first performances. After a series of radio talks and concerts in addition to music teaching, conducting and composing, he became a major figure in Canadian musical life. He frequently visited the United States, broadcasting and arranging many performances of contemporary British music. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the He was also Resident Lecturer at Reed College, Portland, Oregon between 1944 and 1945. Portland is a city located in the Northwestern United States, near the Confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers
It was in Vancouver in 1945 that Benjamin wrote his first Symphony, a large scale four-movement work embodying his stated aim to "mirror the feelings–the despairs and hopes–of the time in which I live". Almost unknown today, the Symphony was given its British première at the Cheltenham Festival in July 1948 by Sir John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra. The Cheltenham Festival is the most prestigious meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom and has race prize WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Sir John Giovanni Battista Barbirolli, CH ( 2 December The Hallé is a Symphony orchestra based in Manchester, England, it claims the status of "the oldest professional orchestra" in the Further performances by the same artists took place in Manchester, Liverpool and the Royal Albert Hall in London the following year. Liverpool ( is a City and Metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary The Royal Albert Hall is an Arts venue situated in the Knightsbridge area of the City of Westminster, London, England, best known After one more performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in August 1954, conducted by the composer, the work appears to have been utterly neglected until it was recorded in recent times by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon Gee. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra ( QSO) was an Australian Orchestra, based principally in Brisbane in the state of Queensland.
The other major work of the period was the darkly impressive Sonata for Viola and Piano of 1942, also known as ‘Elegy, Waltz and Toccata’ and bearing the dedication ‘Written for and dedicated to William Primrose’. Benjamin simultaneously prepared the work as a 'Concerto for Viola and Orchestra’, which was given its premiere by Frederick Riddle and the Hallé Orchestra on 30 June 1948, again conducted by Barbirolli. Riddle later recorded the work in its sonata version with the pianist Wilfred Parry for the BBC. Both the Sonata and the Symphony reflect not just the sombre mood of the times but also the darker territory that Benjamin had begun to explore.
Other orchestral and concertante works written in Canada were the Sonatina (1940), ‘Oboe Concerto on themes of Cimarosa’ (1942), ‘Ballade’ (1944), ‘Suite for Flute & Strings’ (1945), ‘Prelude to Holiday’ (1941), ‘Red River Jig’ (1945), the orchestral setting of the ‘2 Jamaican Pieces’ (1942), ‘From San Domingo’ (1945), ‘Caribbean Dance’ (1946) and two Mendelssohn transcriptions: ‘Præludium’, and ‘Prelude & Fugue’ (1941). Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and generally known as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3 1809 &ndash November 4 1847 was a German Composer The Oboe Concerto was an orchestration of harpsichord pieces by Domenico Cimarosa, and for many years was frequently mis-labelled as "Cimarosa's Oboe Concerto, arranged by Arthur Benjamin". Domenico Cimarosa ( 17 December 1749 – 11 January 1801) was an Italian Opera Composer of the Neapolitan
The ‘Elegiac Mazurka’ of 1941 was commissioned as part of the memorial volume ‘Homage to Paderewski’ in honour of the Polish pianist who had died that year. Ignacy Jan Paderewski GBE (November 18 1860 - June 29 1941 was a Polish Pianist, Composer, Diplomat, and politician and the In 1945 a shortened piano solo arrangement of the ‘Jamaican Rhumba’ was published.
Returning to England in 1946, he resumed teaching at the RCM. In 1949, Benjamin wrote his piano concerto ‘Concerto quasi una Fantasia’. The concerto, written to a commission from the Australian Broadcasting Commission, served as the solo vehicle for Benjamin’s Australian concert tour of 1950 and was premiered by him on 5 September 1950 with Eugene Goossens and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly abbreviated to the 'ABC' is Australia's national public broadcaster. Events 1590 - Alexander Farnese 's army forces Henry IV of France to raise the siege of Paris. Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Sydney Symphony is a Symphony orchestra based in Sydney, Australia. It was repeated in a further seven Australian cities. These were Benjamin’s final performances as a pianist.
The other major original works written during the 1950s were the Harmonica Concerto (1953), written for Larry Adler, who performed it many times and recorded it at least twice; the ballet ‘Orlando’s Silver Wedding’ (1951), ‘Tombeau de Ravel’ for clarinet and piano, the second string quartet (1959) and the Wind Quintet (1960). Lawrence "Larry" Cecil Adler, ( February 10, 1914 &ndash August 7, 2001) was an American Musician, widely acknowledged He had a lasting admiration for Maurice Ravel, whose influence is most obvious in ‘Tombeau de Ravel’ and the much earlier ‘Suite’ of 1926 for piano solo.
He was honoured by the Worshipful Company of Musicians when they awarded him the Cobbett Medal later that year (1957). The Worshipful Company of Musicians is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.
Arthur Benjamin died on 10 April 1960, at the age of 66, at the Middlesex Hospital, from a re-occurrence of the cancer that had first attacked him three years earlier. An alternative explanation of the immediate cause of death is hepatitis, contracted while Benjamin and his partner were holidaying with the Australian painter Donald Friend in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Donald Stuart Leslie Friend ( 6 February 1915 &ndash 16 August 1989) was an Australian Artist, Writer and Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese:, இலங்கை known as Ceylon before 1972 is an Island
Benjamin wrote four operas. The one-act opera The Devil Take Her, to a libretto by Alan Collard and John B. Gordon, was first produced at the RCM on 1 December 1931, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. Sir Thomas Beecham 2nd Baronet, CH (29 April 1879 &ndash 8 March 1961 was a British conductor and Impresario. Another one-acter, ‘Prima Donna’ (1932) had to wait until 23 February 1949 for its première, at the Fortune Theatre in London. Its libretto was by Cedric Cliffe, son of Benjamin’s piano teacher at the RCM Frederic Cliffe. Both these works met with critical success.
A Tale of Two Cities (1950), and Mañana were full-length operas. A Tale of Two Cities (1859 is the second Historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the The librettist for the former was again Cedric Cliffe. First produced by Dennis Arundell during the Festival of Britain in 1951, it won a gold medal and was later broadcast in a live performance by BBC Radio 3 on 17 April 1953. The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition which opened in London and around Britain in May 1951 After this performance, Benjamin revised the piece into its final version. The opera was successfully produced in this form in San Francisco in April 1960, only days before his death. Mañana was commissioned in 1955 and produced by BBC television on 1 February 1956. It was the first television opera ever produced. Unfortunately, it was judged a flop at the time and never revived.
A fifth opera, Tartuffe, with a libretto by Cedric Cliffe based on Molière, was unfinished at Benjamin's death. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known by his Stage name, Molière, ( January 15, 1622 – February 17 1673) was a French The scoring was completed by the composer Alan Boustead and the work produced by the New Opera Company at Sadler’s Wells on 30 November 1964, conducted by Boustead. This appears to have been this opera’s only performance.
Benjamin was equally active as a writer of music for films, beginning in 1934 with The Scarlet Pimpernel, an adaptation of music from the Napoleonic era, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934, remade 1956), for which Benjamin composed an extended cantata Storm Clouds. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 } The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1934 suspense Film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released by Gaumont British. A cantata (derived from the Italian word 'cantare' meaning 'to sing' is a vocal composition with an instrumental Accompaniment and often Other fine scores included those for Alexander Korda's 1947 film of An Ideal Husband, The Ascent of Everest, The Cumberland Story (1947), Steps of the Ballet (British Council/Central Office of Information 1948), The Crowthers of Bankdam (Holbein Films 1947), Above Us the Waves (1956) and Fire Down Below (1957/60). Sir Alexander Korda (September 16 1893 - January 23 1956 was a Hungarian-born Film director and producer. An Ideal Husband, also known as Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, is a 1947 film adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde.
Arthur Benjamin gave a number of important premieres including:
Herbert Howells wrote an orchestral suite "The Bs", in five movements, each celebrating a close friend. The work was first performed in 1914, and ends with an heraldic march movement entitled ‘Benjee’, saluting Arthur Benjamin, who the previous year had given the premiere of Howells’ Piano Concerto No. 1. Howells’ orchestral piece "Procession" (written for the 1922 Proms) is dedicated to Benjamin. The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an eight-week summer season of daily Orchestral Benjamin, in turn, later dedicated the three-page ‘Saxophone Blues’ of 1929 to Howells.
Benjamin Britten's ‘Holiday Diary’ suite for solo piano is dedicated to Arthur Benjamin and mimics many of the teacher’s mannerisms