As a prolific composer, a virtuoso guitarist and an innovative researcher, Benjamin Dwyer's creative and critical work extends from a broad base in performance and artistic practice.
Dwyer has given concerts worldwide and has appeared as soloist with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), the Santos Symphony Orchestra (Brazil), VOX21, the Vogler String Quartet (Germany) and the Callino String Quartet (UK). He is a recipient of the prestigious Villa-Lobos Centenary Medal and the McNamara Gold Medal for Excellence. His new CD (with the Callino Quartet), Irish Guitar Works, was released this May.
His compositions have been performed internationally, and he has been the featured composer at the Musica Nova Festival 2008 in Säo Paulo, the Bienalle of Contemporary Music of Riberäo Preto 2009, the National Concert Hall's Composers' Choice and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra's Horizons series. In recent years, he has completed a number of large-scale works, some of which were conceived in response to or in collaboration with artists from other disciplines. These include Scenes from Crow, his work based on the Crow poems of Ted Hughes, and Umbilical, his re-working of the Oedipus myth for Baroque violin, double-bass, harpsichord, tape, and Butoh dancer. Most recently, he was commissioned by renowned violist Garth Knox for a new solo work.
Dwyer's writing on music draws upon his perspective as an arts practitioner in performance and composition, as well as his experience curating and critically engaging with contemporary music via his directorship of the MUSIC21 series, which saw the world and Irish premieres of numerous important works. His book on Irish composer John Buckley, Constellations: The Life and Music of John Buckley, was published in 2011 (Carysfort Press). His chapter "Transformational Ostinati in György Ligeti's Sonatas for Solo Cello and Solo Viola" appears in György Ligeti: Of Strange Sounds and Foreign Lands (Boydell & Brewer, 2011), which was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Prize. He is currently completing a book on Benjamin Britten's guitar music and is co-editing a book of essays on the composer. He is also editing a collection of essays by international artists who have responded to Ted Hughes's Crow poems.
Dwyer is an elected member of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists established by the Arts Council of Ireland to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts. He was recently made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM), an honor bestowed upon those former students deemed 'to have made a significant contribution to the music profession'.
He earned a PhD in Composition from Queen's University (Belfast), an MMus in Performance from the Royal Academy of Music (London), and a BMus (Hons) from Trinity College (Dublin). Benjamin Dwyer is Professor of Music at Middlesex University's School of Media and Performing Arts.