Ben Palmer is Artistic Director of Covent Garden Sinfonia and, from the 2017/18 season, Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck in Darmstadt. In 2018 he will make his debut with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (touring throughout Europe and the UK), the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, the Orchestra of Opera North, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Cinematic Sinfonia and the Hallé, as well as returning again to the BBC Singers. Other recent guest conducting engagements include the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the London Mozart Players, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, and Aurora Orchestra.
He is one of Europe's foremost specialists in conducting live to film, leading more than 50 film-with-orchestra performances in 2018. These include the German premiere of Casino Royale, and screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, and Brassed Off, throughout Europe and the UK, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, and Symphony Hall Birmingham. His film repertoire includes Psycho, Casablanca, Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush, The Immigrant, Easy Street and The Cure, the premiere of Neil Brand's score for Hitchcock's The Lodger, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, new silent film London Symphony, Peter and the Wolf, The Snowman, and The Battle of the Somme. In 2017 he was invited by the Philharmonia Orchestra to assist Vladimir Ashkenazy with a screening of the Shostakovich score for Battleship Potemkin.
In addition to his work as a conductor, he is also sought after as a composer, arranger and orchestrator. A trumpeter and composer by training, he studied music at the University of Birmingham, graduating with first class honours in 2003. He stayed on at Birmingham to complete an MPhil in composition with Vic Hoyland, before moving to London in 2005 to study with composer Simon Bainbridge at the Royal Academy of Music. He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARAM) in 2017, and is more than halfway through his lifetime ambition to conduct all 107 Haydn symphonies.