B i o g r a p h y
Ben began playing the clarinet when he was eight years old and soon realised that he would love to do this for a living. He found help for achieving his ambition from some of the greatest figures in the ‘clarinet-world’ including Paul Harris and David Campbell in the UK, Karl Leister in Germany and Ricardo Morales in the USA - attending the Birmingham Conservatoire’s Junior School, the Purcell School, Wells Cathedral School and Temple University in Philadelphia.
Ben appeared on the BBC2 programme ‘Classical Star’ in 2007, the year he made his London concerto debut at the Cadogan Hall with the Southbank Sinfonia conducted by Simon Over. He was a televised woodwind finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition of 2010. His numerous appearances as a recitalist and concerto soloist include performances in halls such as the Salle Cortot in Paris, St John's Smith Square, St Peter’s Eaton Square, Bedford Corn Exchange, Fairfield Hall, Wigmore Hall and St Jude’s – with orchestras including the Royal Academy of Music Concert Orchestra, Cornerstone Chamber Orchestra, Bedford Sinfonia, Luton Symphony Orchestra, Purcell School Sinfonia and Solihull Symphony Orchestra.
As an undergraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with Keith Puddy, Ben won the Buffet Crampon Clarinet Prize and performed as a soloist alongside Dennis O’Neill with the Academy Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder (link). Other competition successes include winning the Computers in Personnel International Concerto Competition, Purcell School Concerto Competition and a Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Musical Trust Award. Ben particularly loves playing chamber music, and has performed with some of the most wonderful musicians of his generation, including pianists Hannah-Elizabeth Teoh and Tyler Hay, Violinist Sara Cubarsi Fernandez and Violist Timothy Ridout – all of whom are also great friends.
One of Ben’s ambitions is to become the principal clarinetist of a great orchestra. So far, he has worked professionally as an extra / substitute player in the Orchestra National de France and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Between 2004 and 2015, Ben played principal clarinet with the Royal Academy of Music Concert Orchestra, Opera Orchestra and Symphonic Winds, Temple University Wind Symphony Orchestra, Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra, Musicale Young Artists Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Chamber Orchestra, CBSO Youth Orchestra, Purcell School Sinfonia,, National Children’s Orchestra, Renatus Orchestra. From 2015, Ben studied with a full scholarship at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Patrick Messina. He is an arts ambassador for the Milton Keynes Community Foundation. (logo) Ben would like to thank his family, Brenda and Denis Mason, Celia Porter as well as a number of charitable organizations – without whom, his studies and career to date would not have been possible.