Richard Benjafield has led a distinguished career performing in contemnporary classical music, both as soloist and ensemble musician. He studied at the RNCM (with Ian Wright and Graham Johns), University of Ghana (with Afadina Tsikpa and Bernard Woma) and Tanglewood Music Centre (with John Wyre and Frank Epstein). Early in his career he performed in ensembles led by Jane Manning, James Wood and John Woolrich. Since then he has performed as principal percussionist with Nash Ensemble, BCMG, London Sinfonietta, Composers' Ensemble, Endymion, Lontano and Almeida Opera.
For ten years Richard led Ensemble Bash, the first percussion quartet to establish a career in Britain. As well as commissioning and continually performing a new repertoire of over forty pieces, many now established as standard repertoire, the group performed twice at the BBC Proms, at the 1997 handover ceremony in Hong Kong, and at major festival and concert halls in Europe, Africa and Australia. Ensemble Bash were also artists-in-residence for Chance for Children.
Richard's recent projects have included Carnyx & Co with John Kenny and Sarah Leonard, Morton Feldman's four-hour trio For Philp Guston at the Royal Academy of Art, an a UK tour with thethreestrangeangels of Steve Reich's Sextet and music by Peter Garland. Richard was both soloist and conductor in an acclaimed performance by Guildhall Percussion Group at the BBC's John Cage festivalUnCaged at the Barbican.
Richard's solo work has included collaboration with Jurgen Simpson (sound diffusion) and Simon Doyle (video artists) in Dublin, and a solo improvised concert to live graphic projections at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. He has performed the solo works of Cage and Feldman in Berlin and Vienna, Xenakis with the Richard Alston Dance Company, Vinko Globokar's ?Corporel? at the Aldeburgh Festival, and created inna-groove dimensions with drum 'n bass artist Marque Gilmore at London's National Portrait Gallery for the PRS. He has also collaborated on projects with Graham Fellows (aka John Shuttleworth), Django Bates, Joanna MacGregor and Orphy Robinson.
Richard has been Professor of Percussion and Director of Percussion Ensemble at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 1995.