Ben Lunn is one of our talented composers.
'His work extends the palette of sounds that can be brought into contemporary classical music, redefining both modern composition and concert-hall inclusion.’ – Alan Morrison, Rhinegold.co.uk
Powerful, poignant and deeply moving, Lunn’s composition certainly represents the spirit of Disability History Month 2018 and our current struggle for justice. – Gemma Nash, Disability Arts Online
Winner of two Scottish Music Awards 2020 for his work with Hebrides Ensemble and Drake Music Scotland. Lunn is associate artist for Drake Music and Drake Music Scotland, and Trainee Artistic Director of the Hebrides Ensemble. Current projects include a commission for Durham Brass Festival, a new work for the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ensemble Proton Bern’s ProtonWerk 11, and Making Music UK’s Adopt a Music Creator 2020-21 where he has been partnered in the inaugural Collaborate Pathway which partners him with Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and Ugie Voices. In 2021, Ben helped found the Disabled Artist Network, an organisation which is bridging the gap between the professional world and disabled artists. In 2020 Ben was elected to the Musician’s Union Equalities Commission, and later that year elected chair of the North Lanarkshire Trade Union Council. As of 2021, Ben was also elected to the TUC’s Disabled Workers’ Council, and the MU’s Scotland and North of Ireland Regional Committee. He also has a monthly column in the people’s daily, The Morning Star.
Lunn’s music has been described as ‘Evocative’, ‘Restrained Otherwordliness’, ‘Chilling’, ‘sophisticated and most importantly obsessive’ or ‘produces…glorious roaring sounds’ and ‘desolate monotone’. He has also been referred to as a ‘Composer of life music’.
Ben Lunn is a Mackem composer who studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the guidance of Peter Reynolds, and also the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with Marius Baranauskas. He has also received mentorship from composers Param Vir and Stuart MacRae. Since graduating from his Master’s Lunn relocated to Glasgow, where he currently resides; working as conductor, musicologist, teacher and composer. As a composer, Lunn’s music reflects the material world around him, connecting to his North-Eastern heritage or how disability impacts the world around him or his working-class upbringing. In September 2021, Ben Lunn started his PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he is exploring the impact of political ideology on composition – discussing Hanns Eisler, Alan Bush, Isang Yun, Luigi Nono, Jian-er Zhu, and reflecting upon his own work.
Lunn’s work has been featured in many leading international festivals including Sound Festival, Vale of Glamorgan, London New Wind Festival, Druskomanija, DaDaFest, Arēna Festivals, Leeds Leider+, Zilele Muzicale Aniversare, HASS FEST, Toronto Contemporary Music Lab, Second Movement’s Rough for Opera, and Occupy the Pianos. He has had the privilege of working with leading international ensembles and soloists including Royal National Scottish Orchestra, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, N.A.M.E.S, Sofia Soloists, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Quadra Quartet, Hebrides Ensemble, Digital Orchestra, NOYO, Ensemble Synaesthesis, Music Theatre Wales, Lore Lixenberg, Ligeti Quartet, ÖeNM, Ensemble X and Y, Nikolai Matsov, Rolf Hind, Francoise-Green Duo, Garth Knox, Lore Lixenberg, Ember Septet, 5K Brass, Zubin Kanga, Martynas Levickis, JVLMA, and Jauna Muzika.
As musicologist, Lunn’s specialities focus on Baltic Music, Horaţiu Rădulescu, Political Ideology and composition, and Composing and Disability. He has had the honour of lecturing at some of the world’s leading academic institutions including Fordham University, Mozarteum, RWCMD, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Komitas Conservatory, Durham University and Amsterdam Conservatoire. His articles have been published across Germany, UK, US, Russia, Lithuania, and collected by the Arvo Pärt Centre. He has also written for the Music Information Centre of Lithuania and Latvia. He was featured in the recent Policy Press book Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia in which he contributed a chapter.