Born in 1990 in New Zealand, Benjamin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. In 2013 he won 1st Prize and the audience prize at the Windsor Festival International Violin Competition, and was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust.
Over the last year Benjamin has given recitals throughout Europe including Wigmore Hall, The Sage Gateshead, Pedrera Hall Barcelona, St. John’s Smith Square, the Pärnu, Aegean Arts, Cheltenham, Northern Chords, East Neuk & Buxton Festivals, and appeared as soloist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company. In 2015 Benjamin released his first CD for Champs Hill Records which immediately went to No.22 in the Classical Charts and was featured on Classic FM.
As a soloist he has recently appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Nicholas Collon), performed the Britten and Sibelius Concertos with the Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Brahms and Tchaikovsky with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra and Shostakovich Concerto No.1 with the Fulham Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared with the London Mozart Players, Orchestra Wellington, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Joven Orquesta de Salamanca, Orpheus Sinfonia and Bath Philharmonia at major venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Bath and Gstaad Festivals.
This season Benjamin appears as soloist and director in Paris and attends IMS Prussia Cove. He gives recitals at Wigmore Hall on 29 September and 1 December and performs the Beethoven Concerto with Sinfonia Cymru and the Amadeus Orchestra. Further afield he tours New Zealand under the auspices of the Royal Over-Seas League.
A committed chamber musician Benjamin has given recitals throughout the UK including Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall, and toured Sweden, Denmark, France, Singapore and New Zealand as a member of the Trio Boyarsky. In 2005 Benjamin’s first solo CD Arcadian Strings won the Classic FM Next Big Thing Competition.
During his studies Benjamin won numerous prizes and awards including the Development Prize from the Michael Hill Violin Competition, 1st Prize in the string section of the 2012 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and 2nd Prize at the 2011 Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy.
Hugely popular in New Zealand Benjamin returns whenever he is able, to give concerts and appear on radio and television. He moved to the UK in 1998 with his family to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, on the recommendation of Nigel Kennedy. He is very grateful to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson for his commitment to children’s charities.
Benjamin is plays on a Tononi violin (1709) on generous loan from a private individual.
"Baker brings to every track here an attractive, sonorous quality of tone and expression, demonstrating an impressive talent."
Classic FM review / Champs Hill CD The Last Rose of Summer / April 2015
"I first came across Ben Baker, New Zealand-born violinist who’s just released his first CD, leading a superlative Mendelssohn Octet at the East Neuk Festival. Our next meeting was at Paavo Järvi’s Pärnu Festival… where Baker gave an incandescent performance in Pärnu of Korngold’s piano-quartet Suite."
The Arts Desk – David Nice / August 2015
"…it was Ben Baker.… who stole the show for me on his violin. He was playing a slightly mournful Mozart Violin Sonata, the only one written in minor key. Ben's introduction to what he was to play was a treat and made the listening to him play all the more intent."
Edinburgh Guide / Edinburgh Fringe Festival-ROSL / August 2013
"Kobborg's work Les Lutins is a sparkling and humorous dialogue between dancers and musicians, displaying the extraordinary talent of 24 year-old violinist, Benjamin Baker."
www.theatreview.org.nz / Royal New Zealand Ballet in Auckland / July 2014
"A fast, mischievous, virtuosic, teasingly competitive interaction takes place between violinist and dancer, each vying with the other…..However, in this case, I think the violinist, the most mischievous imp of all, wins the competition...and the girl!"
Theatrereview / Royal New Zealand Ballet in Hamilton/ August 2014
"A fine account of Vaughan Williams’ Concerto Accademico with Ben Baker, a sleek-sounding young soloist; hugely impressive."
Daily Telegraph Gstaad Festival 2009
"At just 17, Benjamin is obviously destined for great things."
www.classicalsource.com/ Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall 2007
Photographer: Kaupo Kikkas