Benjamin Narvey, Lute
Benjamin Narvey, lutenist and musicologist, was born in Montréal. After conservatory in Canada, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London) with David Miller, and has refined his understanding of period performance with Nigel North, Paul O’Dette and Hopkinson Smith.
Benjamin has performed as a continuist under directors such as Paul Agnew, Christian Curnyn, Ton Koopman, Sir Roger Norrington and Kenneth Weiss. He is also a member of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s two period ensembles, the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra and the English Baroque Soloists. Benjamin also works with a variety of French chamber ensembles such as Akadêmia (dir. Françoise Lasserre), Ensemble Amarillis (dir. Héloïse Gaillard & Violaine Cochard), Les Ambassadeurs (dir. Alexis Kossenko), La Chapelle Rhénane (dir. Benoît Haller), Fuoco e Cenere (dir. Jay Bernfeld), Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien (dir. François Lazarevitch), Les Paladins (dir. Jérôme Correas) and Ensemble le Palais Royal (dir. Jean-Philippe Sarcos), and is a member of the young Ensemble Il Caravaggio.
Benjamin performs regularly at prestigious venues such as the Opéra de Paris, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as at important festivals such as the BBC Proms, the Leipzig Bachfest, the London Handel Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Brighton Early Music Festival, the Festival de Musica Antigua Ubeda y Baeza and the Vancouver Early Music Festival. Benjamin is also an experienced theatre and film musician, having performed many times with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, including the production of “The Duchess of Malfi” (with original music by Robert Johnson) that inaugurated the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2014. He also collaborates regularly with France 3 and ARTE, and he has been a featured guest artist on “The Early Music Show” (BBC Radio 3).
His first solo disc, “Psyché: Weiss and the French School” (Gamut Music USA) was released at the Boston Early Music Festival in June 2017.
Benjamin is also an academic specialising in the French Baroque. His doctoral thesis, “The French Lute during the Reign of Louis le Grand” (University of Oxford, 2010) is the first cultural history of the French lute during the Grand Siècle, and was published by the American Lute Society in 2017. In 2008, he won the Goldberg Musical Essay Competition. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne) in 2009, and a fellow at the Institute of Musical Research (University of London) in 2010-11.
Benjamin resides in Paris.
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