A remarkably versatile young musician, Benedict Williams began his training as a chorister at King’s College Cambridge, was a music scholar at Oundle School, and graduated from the University of York with a First Class Degree. He has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Masters in early keyboards and a Professional Diploma with distinction in continuo playing & directing, also being awarded the Bache Fund Prize.
As a keyboard player he has performed in the UK, Europe, North & South America, and has studied with Carole Cerasi, Terence Charlston, James Johnstone and Rob Howarth. Whilst at the Royal Academy he was awarded first prize in the Nancy Nuttall Early Chamber Music Prize and has worked regularly with some of the best known and leading performers in Historical Performance. These include playing harpsichord continuo for Rachel Podger at the Wigmore Hall, with Laurence Cummings in performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and for Royal Academy Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea with Jane Glover. For the Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata series he has made regular appearances on organ continuo with leaders and directors such as Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Rachel Podger, Margaret Faultless.
A major interest of his is continuo playing and accompanying. Highlights include playing with Brecon Baroque (Rachel Podger), the recorder player Tabea Debus for the International Telemann Competition in Magdeburg, and a tour with Karin Cuellar to Bolivia performing in the XII Festival Internacional de Música Renacentista y Barroca Americana “Misiones de Chiquitos”. He has accompanied finalists in the London Bach Society Singer’s Prize and played in performances ranging from Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers to Handel’s Acis & Galatea, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Die Zauberflöte. In 2017 he was invited to play for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Scheme, with performances at the Union Chapel, Kings Place, and Bach Cantatas in Clare College, Cambridge. On fortepiano he has played continuo for Ryedale Festival Opera's 2017 production of Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera and 2018 production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, both directed by Eamonn Dougan. As a solo keyboard player he has performed the W F Bach F minor harpsichord concerto in the UK & United States, and Vivaldi’s Double Concerto for Violin & Organ with Rachel Podger at the Brecon Baroque Festival. As a chamber musician he can regularly be seen collaborating with Margaret Faultless’s group Music for Awhile and Flauti d’echo (Tabea Debus & Olwen Foulkes), including performances at the Brighton Early Music Festival, and Handel House.
At York he founded The Helios Ensemble who have subsequently given concerts in Snape, Suffolk, King’s College, Cambridge, St Georges Bloomsbury, London, and the Romsey Chamber Music Festival. Also, during his time at York, Robert Hollingworth appointed him as assistant director for ‘The 24’. He conducted in a number of their concerts including repertoire from Gombert, Gibbons and Byrd to Eric Whitacre, Adrian Williams and Richard Rodney Bennett.
Benedict is equally at home singing as he is playing the harpsichord. He has been a pupil of Joe Cornwall, Derek Lee Ragin and Alexander Ashworth. As a chorister at King’s he was a regular soloist and made his TV debut singing Once in Royal David's City for the world famous 'Carols From Kings' broadcast. His repertoire includes Copland’s Old American Songs, Erich Korngold’s Zwölf Lieder and Drei Lieder, Finzi’s Before and After Summer & Let us Garlands Bring. His opera appearances include the title role in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the University of York Opera Society and the Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring with the University Chamber Orchestra directed by John Stringer. He was a regular soloist for the University Baroque Ensemble performing the major Bach roles including St John Passion, Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat. As a choral singer he was a member of Genesis Sixteen run by Harry Christophers and sang on I Fagiolini’s CD Amuse Bouche (released April 16).
Not to be altered without permission. Shorter biographies are available on request.