Biography of Benedict Roger:
Recognised as one of Britain's finest viola players, Roger Benedict had a distinguished orchestral career before deciding to concentrate on his work as a soloist and chamber musician. From 1991 to 1999 he held the position of Principal Viola in the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, and played as guest principal with every other major British orchestra.
He discovered the viola at the age of seventeen, having previously learned both the violin and piano. His studies took him to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and to the International Musicians' Seminar in Prussia Cove. He has been a Professor of viola at the Royal Northern College of Music since 1997.
Roger Benedict has appeared as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and many others. For BBC Radio Three he has recorded Walton's viola Concerto "Vaughan Williams "Flos Campi" and Michael Berkeley's viola concerto. He has performed Richard Strauss " Don Quixote" with Lynn Harrell at the Royal Festival Hall and with Steven Isserlis at the Edinburgh Festival Roger Benedict has a strong commitment to new music, and in 1994 gave the world premiere of the Michael Berkeley Viola Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins in the final concert of the Lichfield Festival. The work received subsequent performances at the Royal Festival Hall and the Brighton Festival in 1995 with Leonard Slatkin as conductor, and Roger Benedict again as soloist.
As a recitalist and chamber musician Roger Benedict performs at London's Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, as well as at major festivals and concert series. His chamber music partners have included Lorin Maazel, Sir. Simon Rattle, Michael Collins and the pianist Martin Roscoe, with whom he made his Wigmore Hall recital debut in 1994. In 1991 he performed in the opening chamber music concert at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, as a member of the BellArte Ensemble, and he returns there several times each season to play in the chamber series. Recent International engagements have included visits to the Bastad Festival in Sweden, where he performed with Trio Wanderer, Hagai Shaham and Noriko Ogawa, and to the 1998 Al Bustan International Festival in Beirut where he was joined by flautist Patrick Gallois and Harpist Fabrice Pierre.
Roger Benedict's solo repertoire is wide-ranging and includes the established works of Mozart, Berlioz, Bartok and Walton, as well as many lesser-known and contemporary works.