Ben Opie is an oboist whose talents extend across the entire repertoire for oboe. His passion for contemporary music has led him to work with ensembles such as Ensemble Parallelle, Enseble Offspring, Sydney Chamber Opera, Magik*Magik Orchestra and co-directing Inventi Ensemble with Melissa Doecke. He has had extensive training in historically informed performance practice, studying with leaders in the field such as Susan Harvey, Geoffrey Lancaster and Genevieve Lacey. He has performed at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music since its inception in 2013, and in 2015 presented a mixed media presentation of new works including a world premiere work by Melody Eotvos for flute, oboe, electronics and video. He also gave the Australian premiere of Penderecki’s Capriccio with Arcko Symphonic Ensemble in 2015. Ben has commissioned many new works for oboe and gives both national and international premieres on a regular basis.
Ben has been working with orchestras around the world consistently for his entire career, his diverse expertise and experience make him very much in demand as an orchestral musician. Ben has performed in Germany, France, Bahrain, America and Australia as a soloist, collaborative and orchestral musician. He holds degrees from the Australian National University, the Johannes Gutenberg Hochschule für Musik and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
His work across the globe has earned him multiple awards and recognitions in the field of music, such as the Phyllis C Wattis Foundation Scholarship (USA), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Award for New Music (USA), the 42nd International Summer Course for New Music Scholarship, Darmstadt (Germany), the Carmel Music Competition Finalist (USA) and the Inaugural Double Reed Challenge, section Oboe winner (Aus).
Ben has collaborated with many different art forms, including visual artists, poets, video installation artists, dancers, sound artists and radio documentary producers. Throughout his career he has been passionate about all art forms.
Ben has been engaged as an expert leader in his field, tutoring students from the Australian Youth Orchestra Young Symphonists program, several of the Melbourne Youth Music programs, masterclasses at the Australian National University, and was the oboe specialist for Graham Abbott’s ABC Classic FM Keys to Music broadcast. He was guest artist at the 2014 Australian Double Reed Society Conference and 2015 New Zealand Double Reed Society Conference and received an invitation to present at the 2015 International Double Reed Society Conference in Tokyo.
Since founding Inventi Ensemble with Melissa Doecke in 2014, they have built up a strong program of concerts including starting a monthly community chamber music series in Melbourne’s outer East, weekly interactive music workshops in immigration detention centres, touring concerts to Central and South Australia, participating in numerous festivals around Victoria and Australia and presenting many community focused music workshops.