Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Ben Davies was brought up and went to school in York, followed by studies at the University of Manchester and the Royal Academy of Music. He was fortunate in his teachers, Ioan Davies, Bernard Gregor-Smith and Derek Simpson, all fine quartet cellists who studied with Douglas Cameron at the Royal Academy of Music.
Whilst studying Cello with Derek Simpson as a post graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, Ben also benefitted greatly from the opportunity to study chamber music with members of the Amadeus Quartet, as well as participating in masterclasses with Lynn Harrell. From 1990 to 1995 he was cellist in the Rosell Quartet.
Ben enjoys an diverse career, combining his commitment to teaching with a rich variety of freelance playing. Following initial positions as cello teacher in the 1990’s at Marlborough College, Wells Cathedral School and the Guildhall School of Music, Ben has taught cello and chamber music at Royal Holloway University of London and the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music from 2000, as well as teaching privately from his home in London. He has prepared students for entrance to all of the UK’s conservatoires. Former prize-winning students include Sheku Kanneh Mason, BBC’s Young Musician of the Year 2016.
Ben has participated in educational projects with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Opus 20 String Ensemble, English Touring Opera and the Apollo Chamber Orchestra. He has recently been invited by Julian Lloyd Webber to give a masterclass at Birmingham Conservatoire. Since 2000 Ben has been Principal Cello of the English Touring Opera orchestra. Seasons have included Baroque operas performed on period instruments, and the Olivier Award winning production of King Priam in 2014. He is also plays with Glyndebourne on Tour and Garsington orchestras and has been guest principal cello at Longborough Festival Opera.
Ben continues to enjoy the variety of the freelance scene which has included work in the theatres of London’s West End, productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, tours with Shirley Bassey (including a memorable performance on the main stage of Glastonbury in 2007) a tour of Europe with Peter Gabriel, film and pop session work, being a former member of the Graham Fitkin Group and the Opus 20 String Ensemble. Extra work with chamber orchestras include London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, BBC concert Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra. In 2012 Ben was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of his significant contribution to the music profession.
Ben plays on a late 17th century cello by the dutch maker Cornelius Kleynmann.