Born in New Zealand in 1990, Benjamin Baker first picked up a violin at the age of three. Four years later he had notched up seven television appearances in New Zealand and played with the celebrated violinist Nigel Kennedy, who recommended he apply to The Yehudi Menuhin School in London. Benjamin was given a scholarship, and in 1998 moved with his family from Wellington to London. He went on to complete his studies at the Royal College of Music with Natasha Boyarsky and Felix Andrievsky, graduating in 2014 with a Masters and was
awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2013.
During his studies Benjamin won numerous prizes and awards including 1st Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2013 Windsor Festival International String Competition, 1st Prize in the 2012 Royal Over-Seas League Competition, 2nd Prize at the 2011 Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the 2013 Development Prize from the Michael Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand.
In 2007 Benjamin’s debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra was described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘hugely impressive’. He went on to appear as
soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Nicholas Collon), the Orchestra Wellington, London Mozart Players, Joven Orquesta de Salamanca, Orpheus Sinfonia, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Bath Philharmonia, the Romanian State Radio Orchestra and New English Concert Orchestra.
Oliver Davis graduated from the Royal Academy of
Music in 1994 and has since composed numerous
concertos, ballet scores, albums, soundtracks and
television scores working with many of the major
Davis’ debut album Flight, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra with soloist Kerenza Peacock, was released in March 2015 and quickly rose to number 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts with 5 star reviews in both the UK and US. In addition it was chosen as Featured Album of the Week on Classic FM and was broadcast daily on the station.
Several pieces from the album Flight have been used for a ballet choreographed by Ma Cong for the Tulsa Ballet Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After the release of Flight came Davis’ second album Seasons in October 2015. This album featured his work Anno, a contemporary take on Vivaldi’s Quattro Stagioni. This album also charted in the UK top 10 and was Album of the Week on Classic FM and in the Mail on Sunday.
Following this release came Dance, recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road studios and released in September 2016. This too became Classic FM’s Album of the Week and featured in their ‘Best of 2016’ show. Various pieces from Dance and Flight were used to create the ballet Dance Odyssey, choreographed by Peter Walker and performed by New York City Ballet. Following the ballet’s premiere in January 2018, The New York Times described the music as ‘charming, lyrical, Arcadian’.
Davis’ fourth album, Liberty, was released in February 2018. This reached number 1 in the iTunes Classical Charts and was also Classic FM’s Album of the Week. Pieces from Liberty formed a new ballet Bacchus, choreographed by Matthew Neenan for Pacific Northwest Ballet and premiered in March 2019. Davis’ next album, Arcadia, featured a piano piece of the same name, which on its release achieved over a million streams on Apple Music. The album reached number 1 in the iTunes Classical Charts, number 4 in the UK Classical Charts and 15 in the US Billboard Charts. September 2019 saw the premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Lineage, set to music by Davis, at New York City Ballet’s prestigious Fall Fashion Gala. The ballet featured costumes designed by fashion icon Anna Sui.
Solace was released in 2021. It was a lockdown album which saw performers record remotely all around the world. It entered the US Billboard Charts at no.12 and was both Classic FM’s and Scala Radio’s Album of the Week. Interviews on both BBC Radio 3 and Scala Radio followed, with the title piece being selected by Sidra Bell for her choreographic debut at New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala 2021. The following year saw the release of the seventh album, Air. Its multi genre style included songs performed by Grace Davidson and Jeremy Budd, in addition to violin concertos performed by Kerenza Peacock and Benjamin Baker. Both violinists performed on the ballet The Veil Between Worlds, which was written for Edwaard Liang and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Air was Classic FM’s Album of the Week and Scala Radio’s Album of the Weekend. Several pieces from the album have now formed new ballets that have premiered in the US.
In April 2023 Davis collaborated with Celine Gettins, Principal with Birmingham Royal Ballet, to create Jubilate, a new ballet celebrating the coronation of King Charles III.