£70,000 prize awarded to Birmingham Conservatoire tutor


Dr Ed Bennett, composition tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, has won one of the Philip Leverhulme Trust Prizes in Performing and Visual Arts, a prize of £70,000 to be spread over 2-3 years of research.

The Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial contribution to their particular field of study and where the belief is that their greatest achievement is yet to come.

Ed is a self-taught musician whose first ventures into music included playing in a rock band. He then went on to study composition and electronic music at the North Down College before continuing to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His work has received great international acclaim and often combines acoustic, electronic and multimedia elements.

Dr Bennett submitted his bid to The Trust for the intended progression of his own ensemble - Decibel. Ed formed, performs with and directs Decibel, which is dedicated to the performance of new and experimental cross-discipline work involving electronics, improvisation, collaboration and theatrical elements in music. The influences within the group are as diverse as punk rock, jazz, electronica and contemporary classical.

Ed intends to use the prize money for developing his work with Decibel; this significant fund allows him time away from teaching and more time to work with the ensemble on a regular basis as well as allowing the opportunity to experiment with artists from different disciplines.

Dr Ed Bennett had this to say about winning this significant prize, "I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been awarded the Leverhulme Prize. It will enable me to continue my compositional research and realise projects which up until now have only been ideas, this substantial award will mean that those ideas can now be brought to life. I am also delighted that the composition department at the Conservatoire nominated me for this amazing opportunity."

Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of The Leverhulme Trust also commented on the winners of the Leverhulme Prize, “...The recipients of Prizes were judged by a panel to be truly outstanding in their fields, with records of proven achievement, as well as a telling promise for the future.”

Return to the previous page.