Sir George Benjamin (b 1960) studied composition with Olivier Messiaen and piano with Yvonne Loriod. His first orchestral work, Ringed by the Flat Horizon, was performed at the BBC Proms when he was only 20. Antara was commissioned by IRCAM for the 10th anniversary of the Pompidou Centre in 1987. The LSO and Pierre Boulez gave the world premiere of Palimpsests in 2002 to mark the opening of By George, a season-long retrospective of his work.

Benjamin has written the three operas with Martin Crimp: Into the Little Hill, Written on Skin and Lessons in Love and Violence. Their fourth collaboration Picture a day like this premieres at Aix-en-Provence in 2023. Dream of the Song, for countertenor, female voices and orchestra, was premiered by The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in September 2015. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra premiered his Concerto for Orchestra in July 2021 at the BBC Proms.

Benjamin is a CBE, Commandeur dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society. In 2022 Benjamin was awarded the Grand Prix artistique 2022 de la Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca by the Institut de France, as well as the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection from the Ivors Academy.