Conductor Ben Palmer

Entering his sixth year as Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck in Darmstadt, Ben Palmer is also Chief Conductor of Babylon Orchester Berlin, and Founder and Artistic Director of Covent Garden Sinfonia. This season sees debuts with the Aalborg, Antwerp, City of Birmingham, Hof, and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, at the BBC Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (televised on BBC Two), the 21st Century Orchestra and with the Arctic Philharmonic. He works regularly with the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, Pilsen Philharmonic, and the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

He can often be heard on BBC Radio 3 conducting the BBC Singers and the BBC Orchestras. Other recent guest conducting engagements include the Heidelberger Sinfoniker, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sinfonietta de Lausanne, Sinfonietta Riga, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has made recordings with the NDR Radiophilharmonie (for Sony Classical, nominated for an Opus Klassik award), BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Covent Garden Sinfonia, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, and Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin.

Personally authorised by John Williams to conduct his film scores in concert, and acclaimed by Hans Zimmer as “a masterclass in conducting”, Ben Palmer is one of Europe’s most sought-after specialists in conducting live to picture. Regularly invited to appear at the Royal Albert Hall with films such as Jurassic Park, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone and Brassed Off, his repertoire of more than 35 films includes Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, Casablanca, Casino Royale, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Jaws, Psycho, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Skyfall, Star Wars, and Under the Skin. He is one of the world’s leading silent film conductors, regularly performing such fiendishly difficult scores as Metropolis, and Chaplin’s Modern Times and The Gold Rush, and appearing at festivals such as Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (Pordenone Silent Film Festival) and La Biennale de Venezia.

A trumpeter and composer by training, he studied at the University of Birmingham and the Royal Academy of Music, which elected him an Associate (ARAM) in 2017. He continues to be in great demand as a composer, arranger and orchestrator, most notably for Sony. Recent commissions include arrangements for Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing, Urban Fox (a companion piece for The Rite of Spring) for Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, an orchestration of Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin de printemps for the Hallé, and the Fitbit Stress Symphony, viewed more than 7.5M times on YouTube. From 2011-16 he worked as assistant conductor to Sir Roger Norrington, and twice acted as rehearsal conductor for Bernard Haitink. He is more than three quarters of the way through his lifetime ambition to conduct all 107 of the Haydn symphonies.