Who's who in the orchestra

Benjamin Mellefont

Joined the LPO in 2019

Principal Clarinet

Benjamin Mellefont was born in Sydney, Australia. He was appointed Principal Clarinet of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019, having previously held the same position with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he also appeared as a soloist. He has also played as Guest Principal with many of the orchestras in the UK and Australia, and at festivals such as Salzburg, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh. A keen proponent of contemporary music, Benjamin has been a core and founding member of Explore Ensemble since 2012, with whom he has been involved in numerous premieres and commissions. With them, in 2019 he will give the UK premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Figura for Solo Clarinet and Ensemble. He is also a member of Ensemble Vindeleia, a collective that meets biannually in La Rioja, to present chamber music to remote villages in the region.

Benjamin graduated in 2015 from the Royal College of Music with First Class Honours as the Tegner Scholar, having studied with Barnaby Robson, Richard Hosford, Timothy Lines and Michael Collins. Whilst there he won the Clarinet Prize and Concerto Competition. He has examined and given classes at several of the UK’s conservatoires, and since 2019 has been a Professor of Clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music.

When not playing clarinet, he enjoys producing electronic music, and can be occasionally found moonlighting as a barista in London coffee shops and markets.

Benjamin featured in the 'Backstage' interview in our Autumn 2019 edition of the Orchestra's magazine, Tune In. Read the interview here.