Ben Johnson Biography (BBC)
Ben Johnson studied with Neil Mackie and Tim Evans-Jones at the Royal College of Music and at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. He won the 2008 Kathleen Ferrier Award, a prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the singer’s prize at the Gerald Moore Awards. In September 2010 he joined the prestigious Radio 3 New Generation Artists Scheme. Ben studies currently with Jeffrey Talbot.
Ben’s recent engagements include Mozart concert arias under Jirí Belohlávek; Britten Serenade with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Strauss Lieder with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Haydn Paukenmesse and Britten Nicolas Cantata at De Doelen in Rotterdam; Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra; and his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Brighton Festival. Other past engagements include Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen; Britten Les Illuminations under Francesco Corti; Evangelist St Matthew Passion with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway under Nicholas Kraemer; Haydn Harmoniemesse at the Aldeburgh Festival; Handel Messiah with the English Chamber Orchestra; Bach B minor Mass at the Three Choirs Festival; and Handel Samson with Harry Bicket in his BBC Proms debut in 2009.
In recital Ben works regularly with Graham Johnson. They have performed together recently at the Wigmore Hall; the Klavier Festival in the Ruhr in Germany; and at Snape in Aldeburgh. Most recently, Ben recorded songs by Poulenc with Graham Johnson for Hyperion records, due for release later this year. Other accompanists with whom Ben has worked include Malcolm Martineau at Aldeburgh and Roger Vignoles at the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam.
Future recitals include the Wigmore Hall in October 2011 (with James Baillieu) and in February 2012, and a recital for the City of London Festival this summer.
On the operatic stage, Ben sang a critically acclaimed Novice Billy Budd last season in a new production for Glyndebourne conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Other appearances include performances for Opéra de Lyon and Scottish Opera, and Aceste Ascanio in Alba at Kings’ Place with the Classical Opera Company. Future operatic engagements include Nemorino L’elisir d’amore for English National Opera; Tamino Die Zauberflöte for Opera Oveido and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni for Opéra National de Bordeaux, whilst future concert engagements include Orbin in Elgar Caractacus with the Philharmonia under Sir Andrew Davis at the Three Choirs Festival; music by Frank Bridge at the BBC Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; and concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy of Ancient Music. From the 11/12 season, Ben will also be an ENO Young Singer.
Ben Johnson Performances