Northern Irish composer Ed Bennett has won a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Trust Prize in Performing and Visual Arts. The Philip Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925, in order to provide scholarships in a wide range of subjects for the purposes of research and education. The Trust is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK.
Bennett’s prize is worth £70,000, which will be spread over two to three years of work. The Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded ‘to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study, recognised at an international level, and where the expectation is that their greatest achievement is yet to come’.
With two acclaimed recording releases this year, My Broken Machines on NMC and Dzama Stories on Quartz Music, each of which feature his ensemble Decibel (with the former also featuring such performers as the Fidelio Trio and Garth Knox), Bennett certainly has had a great year. We reviewed My Broken Machines here.
In reaction to the news of his having received the award, Bennett told The Journal of Music that he will be using the prize ‘to develop work with (his) ensemble and write works outside of the usual constraints of commissions’. ‘The precise nature of those works is yet to be decided’, he went on, but more generally the prize will facilitate ‘more performances and more recording and more work with improvisers’.
Bennett says that he will ‘also be using the prize for further self development and research abroad, possibly with some time in Amsterdam and New York’.
Bennett’s first opera will be premiered by Opera Northern Ireland in June 2012 at the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast.
Pictured: Ed Bennett.
Published on 12 December 2011