Roche Commissions 2008

George Benjamin is the fourth composer to contribute a work to Roche Commissions. The commissioned work 2008 is premiered at the lucerne festival in Summer and in the United States at Carnegie, Benjamin’s music is international in its scope and significance. Many of his core compositional ideas were formed in a prodigious musical youth, symbolised by his acceptance, when he was just 16, as Olivier Messiaen’s youngest pupil in his class at the Paris Conservatoire. But Benjamin resisted the temptation to assimilate Messiaen’s musical language – or, indeed, anyone else’s. From his earliest works, like the Piano Sonata he composed three decades ago, to his recent orchestral Palimpsests, it is the individuality of his creative universe that makes it so distinctive among the achievements of contemporary music. Benjamin’s music holds architecture and expression, craft and spontaneity, in the finest possible balance. His works make an immediate impact on their listeners and offer endless possibilities of musical discovery and enrichment.