A remarkably versatile young musician, Benedict Williams began his training as a chorister at King’s College Cambridge and a music scholar at Oundle School. He graduated from the University of York with a First Class Degree and the 'Outstanding Contribution' Prize in Music in 2015 and is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Carole Cerasi and Terence Charlston.
As a keyboard player he has performed in both the UK, Europe and North America. 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, Rachel Podger, Margaret Faultless. A major interest of his is continuo playing and accompanying. He has accompanied the recorder player Tabea Debus for the International Telemann Competition in Magdeburg, 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. Having been introduced to the fortepiano by Carole Cerasi at the Academy Benedict has already performed in a masterclass with the Oberlin Fortepiano Trio and David Breitman. More recently 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. Additionally with the OAE Scheme he played fortepiano continuo for Ryedale Festival Opera's 2017 production of Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera, 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 has performed with Margaret Faultless’s group Music for Awhile and Flauti d’echo (Tabea Debus & Olwen Foulkes).
At York he founded The Helios Ensemble who have given concerts in Snape, Suffolk, King’s College, Cambridge, and St Georges Bloomsbury, London. 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).