Benjamin Sheen

May 2, 2023
Benjamin Sheen

Hailed by The New York Times as a “brilliant organist,” Benjamin Sheen is an established concert artist on both sides of the Atlantic and has recently been appointed Director of Music at Jesus College Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He was named the winner of the Pierre S. DuPont First Prize at the inaugural Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition in June 2013. That same year, he was also named second prize winner and the Jon Laukvik Prize winner of the 50th St. Albans Festival and International Organ Competition.

Mr. Sheen began his musical education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, under celebrated organist John Scott. In 2003, at age 13, he became the youngest person ever to give a full recital on the St. Paul’s Cathedral Sunday Evening series. While studying at Oxford, Mr. Sheen combined his position as cathedral organ scholar with a busy solo career, which led him to numerous engagements in cathedrals and concert halls throughout Great Britain (including Liverpool Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Cadogan Hall, and St. John’s Church, Smith Square), as well as further afield in Australia, France, Germany, and the United States. During his time at Oxford, he studied with David Sanger and, later, Thomas Trotter, which led him to gain his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), winning the Limpus, Durrant, and Frederick Shinn prizes for performance. Mr. Sheen has made live appearances on both BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio 3 as a soloist and with the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, and has also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Nicholas Cleobury, the Southbank Sinfonia, the London Mozart Players, and the Duisburg Philharmonie in Germany under conductor Jonathan Darlington.

While studying at Juilliard, Mr. Sheen toured extensively across the United States, including solo recitals in Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Boston. In the same year he was also a recipient of the silver medal awarded by England’s Worshipful Company of Musicians, given to outstanding young musicians in Great Britain. He has been featured several times on American Public Media’s radio show Pipedreams and presented several performances of J. S. Bach’s ClavierÜbung III, including a live performance on New York City’s WQXR Radio. In January 2012, he made his Juilliard concerto debut with a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra as part of Lincoln Center’s 2012 FOCUS! Festival and for that performance he received critical acclaim in The New York Times. In recent years he has returned numerous times to Australia and New Zealand, as well as across Europe, South Africa, and Singapore. In 2019, he made his New Zealand concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Mr. Sheen has long held a great interest in the art of transcribing orchestral works for the organ, creating his own arrangements of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Handel, Elgar’s Elegy for Strings, Shostakovich’s Festival Overture, and Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture. Last year, his first solo disc was released—the inaugural recording on the Dobson organ of Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue. "In London Town" features original works and transcriptions from his native land of Great Britain, including music by Edward Elgar, John Ireland, Percy Whitlock, and Judith Bingham among others.

Before moving to New York City, Mr. Sheen received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with first class honors, from the University of Oxford, while concurrently serving as the organ scholar of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. He completed his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School where he studied with Paul Jacobs. While at Juilliard, he held the position of Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York City, serving for a year as Acting Director of Music after the untimely death of John Scott in 2015. In January 2020, he returned to Britain to take up the position as Sub-Organist at his alma mater, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he stayed until his appointment as Director of Music of Jesus College, Cambridge in January 2023.

Benjamin Sheen will be on tour in the United States from mid-March through mid-April 2024.

Benjamin Sheen is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC 
Phone: 860-560-7800 
10 Abbott Lane, Dearborn, MI 48120-1001