NZ Music Teachers Online

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison

Wellington

Violin Lessons | Viola Lessons | Ensemble Coaching, Theory Lessons, Online Lessons


  • Qualifications: BMus, PGDip, ArtDip at the Royal College of Music, London
  • Pricing: $80 per hour or $40 for half an hour
  • Styles: Classical
  • Suitability: All Ages and levels

Bio

Benjamin leads a varied musical career, balancing his chamber music work and orchestral projects around his enthusiasm for coaching young musicians.

At age eight Benjamin was awarded a place as chorister at the prestigious St John’s College choir in Cambridge and subsequently toured the world and appeared as soloist on many recordings. In 2000 Benjamin won a place at Chetham’s School of Music to learn violin with Jan Repko, and then in 2005 he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music, London as a viola player. Whilst at the RCM Benjamin learnt with Ivo-Jan van der Werff and Jonathan Barritt and was a prize winner at the International Kenneth Page Viola Competition. He graduated with honours in 2009 and then completed his Postgraduate Degree where he studied jointly with Simon Rowland-Jones and Lawrence Power.

His quartet the ‘Alke Quartet’ was formed in 2011 and were in residence at the Royal College of Music on the Chamber Music Course from 2015-17, kindly supported by a legacy from the late Albert and Eugenie Frost. Following their highly successful Park Lane Group (PLG) audition in Spring 2015, the quartet gave the PLG’s annual performance of Haydn’s The Seven Last words from The Cross at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, performed with great success in the PLG Young Artists Spring Series in St John’s Smith Square last April and made their Wigmore Hall debut presented by the PLG in March 2017. Part of the ChamberStudio, Kings Place London, the quartet received masterclasses from Rita Wagner, Krysia Osostowicz, Simon Rowland-Jones and Richard Ireland. They were finalists in the Bloch Music Competition and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition and were accepted for the International Music Seminar Prussia Cove, working closely with the Endellion Quartet’s David Waterman. In January 2017 they participated in the Winter Residency Programme at Banff, Canada. Their performance venues include St. Martin-in-the-Fields, St John’s Smith Square, St James’s Piccadilly, Bath’s Pump Room and the Barbican Centre.

Aside from his string quartet Benjamin has performed with the Arienski Ensemble for the North Norfolk Music festival, performed Schumann’s Quintet with Raphael Wallfisch and toured Scotland with the Dulcinea quartet. Benjamin enjoys playing with his viola quartet Mit Dӓmpfer.

Benjamin joined Southbank Sinfonia in 2011 subsequently performing in many concerts both as orchestral player and as chamber musician. With Southbank Benjamin performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall under Vladimir Ashkenazy and at the Royal Opera House and collaborated with members of Academy of St Martin-in-the-Field and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Benjamin is enthusiastic about enlightening young people through music making and actively organises and participates in musical outreach workshops. Benjamin has worked as viola coach for the National Youth Strings Academy.

In 2022 Benjamin moved to New Zealand with his wife and is enthusiastic about the future opportunities he will discover.

Benjamin plays on a viola by Luigi Soffritti, 1875.


Teaching Info

I have over 10 years experience in teaching Viola and Violin. I have taught in schools, including Twyford Church of England High School and Ealing Junior Music School as well as teaching privately. I am happy teaching all ages. It’s never too late to learn an instrument. I am passionate about teaching and love that every pupil has a different style of playing. I adapt my teaching style to what my pupils need as one size does not fit all!

I have been involved in music my whole life starting as a chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge then attending Chethams School of music in Manchester. I received my BMus degree at the Royal College of Music, London before doing a postgraduate degree, specialising in chamber music at the same institution.

I have a 100% success rate with ABRSM exams and am able to help students through all exams, entrance school and university preparations.

The first trial lesson is a free lesson so please contact me book one in!

I have been teaching online now for a few years and I find that although that it is not an ideal environment it is something definitely worth pursuing and is very rewarding. After the online lessons I supplement them by recording the pieces, scales or technique that we have talked over in the lesson so that you can view it over the week to help with any issues. I am also available to contact over the week should you have any questions on what we have discussed! I have a very stable fast internet connection and use a good microphone for the lessons so the quality is as best as it can be. I am able to use Zoom, Skype or any other platform that you wish but I have found that Zoom works best for these lessons. I look forward to seeing you online!

I highly recommend Ben! He has been teaching my son from last year, and ever since then, my son has gained so much enthusiasm for his violin. This is what we believe the most important for young violin learner as the journey of music will be so long. He now practices much longer everyday regularly and became concertmaster in his orchestra. Moreover, Ben helped him passed two ABRSM grade exams within 6 months! Although exams should never be the ultimate goal of learning, but we are still very much impressed by such great progress and it’s really all due to Ben. I can thoroughly recommend him, and he is such a pleasure to meet.

Na Yi, London

I recently started playing the violin again and was fortunate in finding Ben to take me on as a pupil. I have found Ben's greatest strength as a tutor is his ability to spot what needs to be changed to improve to the next step. I feel encouraged by the continual small steps forward, and Ben's clear explanations of what I should focus on from week to week. All our lessons have been over Zoom and while it is a different experience it has worked well, and enables me to learn with a professional musician of Ben's ability, which might not be available to me in such a convenient way without traveling. I would not hesitate to recommend him as a tutor for anyone who is seeking fresh insights into how to improve their playing or just at the beginning of their journey

Jonathan Fry

Ben is a very encouraging and enthusiastic viola teacher. He is happy to focus on music making with my teenage son rather than working towards specific exams. This has helped him build his confidence and improved his playing. Ben is great at getting my son to think about the music he is playing and how he can play expressively. Techniques are introduced that are relevant to the pieces being played, and although lessons are via Zoom, progress has been good. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ben as a viola teacher.

George Ridout
Contact Benjamin Harrison