Biography – Violist

Roger Benedict’s career has encompassed work as a conductor, soloist, orchestral player, chamber musician and teacher. From 1991 -2000 principal viola in the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, and following that the same position in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, since 2002 Roger has been Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony’s acclaimed Fellowship Program. At the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he is an Associate Professor, Roger is Chief Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and also heads the viola department.

As a viola soloist he has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra in the UK as well as the Sydney Symphony, Canberra Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan). He has given solo recitals at venues including London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, and at major International festivals.

Roger Benedict’s debut recital CD Volupté (Melba), featuring music by Charles Koechlin and Joseph Jongen, was selected as one of the 10 best recordings of 2010 by www.theclassicalreview.com. His recording of Vaughan Williams’ Flos Campi with the Sydney Symphony was released in 2011, and a disc of music by Hans Gál and Ernst Krenek (Voices in the Wilderness) in 2014, also on the Melba label. His latest recording, A Winter’s Tale, featuring music by Schubert and Schumann with pianist Simon Tedeschi, was released in 2018 on ABC Classics. A new recording for ABC Classics of music by Debussy and Ravel is due for release in late 2021.

A frequent guest conductor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Roger has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts at the Sydney Opera House, at City Recital Hall and in regional centres. He has been invited to appear as a conductor with other orchestras in the region including the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and in the UK with the Southbank Sinfonia. A devoted orchestral trainer, he has coached the European Union Youth Orchestra since 2000, and is a frequent conductor of Australian Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra (UK) programs.

Roger has gained admiration for his dedication to outreach and community work – for example through presenting concerts and workshops in schools, prisons and corporate settings, and through organizing major fundraising concerts for charitable causes.

Roger is active as an arranger and editor. His publications for Partitura-Verlag include arrangements of Schubert, Mozart and Debussy, and a popular viola scale method, Scale Up!