Benedict Taylor (musician)

Benedict Taylor
Benedict Taylor .jpg
Background information
Born Kendal, United Kingdom
Occupation(s) Musician, violist/composer
Instruments Viola
Years active 2000–present
Notable instruments

Benedict Taylor (born 1982) is a British avant-garde composer and violist, who works within contemporary music and improvisation. He studied viola at the Royal Northern College of Music (2000–2004) with Roger Bigley – Lindsay Quartet, Thomas Riebl, Steve Berry (improvisation), Chris Rowland (chamber music). From 2008–2010, he then read ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was born in Kendal near the English Lake District and is the son of the Kendal based author Caroline Moir. He is married to Indian actress Radhika Apte since 2012. [1]


Taylor is a leading figure within contemporary composition, modern string performance & improvised music in the British & European new music world. The central focus of his work is in new composition for live performance, film, theatre, contemporary dance, art installation & electro-acoustic composition. In performance, he predominantly works within improvisation, new composition & 20th/21st century music.

Through performance/recording he has worked with artists including: Lawrence Upton, [2] Stephen Crowe, Alex Ward, Daniel Thompson, Renee Baker, Terry Day, Tom Jackson, [3] Anton Mobin, Keith Tippett, Eugenio Colombo, Steve Beresford, Evan Parker, [4] Tony Conrad, Jonathan Cole, Francesco Hoch, John Corigliano, Oliver Knussen, Krzysztof Penderecki.

Within his performance work there is a focus on solo performance as a creative and investigative process. In 2013 he initiated an ongoing commission series & solo label Subverten (For Viola Solo), aimed at investigating conventional & unconventional elements in solo viola perfoemance. The first works premiered in autumn 2013 and continue several times each year. [5]

He works with a number of music organisations and ensembles including; clapTON Ensemble, re:sound, London Improvisers Orchestra, [6] Berlin Improvisers Orchestra, Project Instrumental, Tokyo Improvisers Orchestra, Kammer Klang Players, Squib-Box, [7] ARCO, [8] London Sinfonietta Collective, Regular Music II. [9]

Notable festival, venue and radio appearances include; Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte – Montepulciano, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Fete de la Musique Berlin, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Festival, BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM, Radio Libertaire/Epsilonia (Paris). [10]

Through his work he is also involved with several higher education institutions, giving lectures and seminars at the Royal College of Music, City University London and Goldsmiths, University of London amongst others.

A large part of his composition is in film and theatre scoring, writing soundtracks for many works including; The Hungry, Fireworks & Djinns of Eidgah (Dir. Richard Twyman) – Royal Court Theatre, [11] The Bright Day (Mohit Takalkar), Maunraag (Vaibhav Abnave), Waves of Power (Rajesh Thind & National Maritime Museum 2011), [12] Citizen Soldiers (Rajesh Thind), Presage (Maria Guerberof 2010), That Girl in Yellow Boots, [13] (director Anurag Kashyap), [14] Harud (Aamir Bashir), [15] Ship of Theseus (dir. Anand Gandhi 2012), with ongoing screenings, garnering awards and critical acclaim at film festivals including Berlinale, Venice, London, Toronto, Shanghai, Mumbai & Rotterdam, London Film Critics Circle. [16] [17] [18]

He is the founder & artistic director of CRAM, a music collective & independent record label (CRAM Records), which produces and promotes improvisation and new composition through both recorded and live mediums. The group is notable for working across geographical, cultural, media & artistic boundaries.

He is active within the London session music community having worked in performance & recording settings with artists including; Jimmy Page, Basement Jaxx, Madness, Aphex Twin, Belle and Sebastian, Serafina Steer, Jarvis Cocker, You Me At Six, Donovan, Micah P. Hinson, Foals, Cherry Ghost.

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