Born into a musical family in Sydney, Benjamin (Ben) Saffir started playing classical guitar at the age of five. After successfully auditioning for the Conservatorium High School in 2010, he began learning the double bass with Kees Boersma. From 2016 to 2019, Ben undertook a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium. In 2020, Ben relocated to Melbourne to commence training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) with Damien Eckersley.
Recent highlights include performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and the Momentum Ensemble. Ben has been the recipient of the Henry Jacono Memorial Scholarship in 2014 and the Michael Bannigan Scholarship in 2016. In 2020, Ben was awarded a Highly Commended for the ANAM Concerto Project for his performance of the Tubin Bass Concerto.
In addition to performance, Ben has composed a number of commissions for orchestras and chamber ensembles, such as Fantasia on Moreton Bay (Barker College Chamber Orchestra 2016), The Gigue’s Up (National Music Camp Violin Quartet 2018) and Botany Bay (Willoughby Symphony 2018). In 2016, Ben wrote an arrangement of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana for eight double basses that was premiered by a group of Sydney Conservatorium bassists.
In his personal life, Ben has a keen interest in history, international travel and board games.
Musician Beneficiary Support generously provided by the Anthony and Sharon Lee Foundation
Photo by Pia Johnson