Roger Benedict’s career as a conductor has been informed and enriched by more than two decades as a principal player in some of the world’s leading orchestras, by his extensive work as an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician, and through his deep involvement in orchestral training and development.
Principal viola in London’s Philharmonia Orchestra from 1991, followed by the same position with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, since 2002 Roger has also been Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Fellowship Program (a full time orchestra academy), crafting it into the leading professional training program for musicians in Australasia.
Increasingly active as a conductor, Roger has conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestrain subscription concerts and special events at the Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall and in regional centres. He regularly conducts the Sydney Symphony Fellowship Orchestra, both in concerts around Sydney and on tour, gaining admiration for adventurous and imaginative programming and also for his dedication to outreach and community activity – including workshops in schools, prisons and corporate settings. In the UK, Roger has conducted London’s Southbank Sinfonia, and the National Youth Orchestra (in London and Aldeburgh). In addition, he has collaborated with New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, global sensation the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and more.
A devoted orchestral trainer, since 2000 Roger has coached the European Union Youth Orchestra (returning with them in 2015), and works regularly with the National Youth Orchestra (UK). Within Australia Roger has also conducted orchestras at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Australian National Academy of Music.
Roger has held teaching appointments at the Royal Northern College of Music (UK) and currently at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and given masterclasses worldwide, most recently at the Royal Academy of Music (UK) and Den Haag Conservatory (Netherlands).
Roger continues to perform as a viola player. As a viola soloist he has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra in the UK as well as the Sydney Symphony and Canberra Symphony in Australia, and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. As both recitalist and chamber musician Roger Benedict has appeared at London’s Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, as well as at all the major festivals and concert series in the UK. In Australia he performs widely as a chamber musician, and as a frequent recitalist.
Released by Melba Recordings, Roger Benedict’s recital CD Volupté (with pianist Timothy Young, in 2010) of rare works by Charles Koechlin and Joseph Jongen, was greeted with considerable critical acclaim and selected as one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by The Classical Review. His recording of Vaughan Williams’ Flos Campi with the Sydney Symphony was released by the same label in 2011, and a new disc of works by Hans Gál and Ernst Krenek, Voices in the Wilderness, was released by Melba in 2014.
Roger Benedict is also active as editor and arranger; recent publications include viola transcriptions of works by Schubert and Mozart for Partitura-Verlag. He also writes regularly for journals such as The Strad.
For more information please see www.rogerbenedict.com
Roger’s new CD with pianist Timothy Young for Melba Recordings: “an intriguing and beguiling album that blends soulful, troubled music with that of a truly optimistic, romantic spirit. Roger Benedict’s viola playing is warm and often luxurious” – Limelight (4 stars), May 2015. Read the full review here and article about the album here.