Ben Johnson quickly established himself as one of the most exciting tenors of his generation. He studied with Neil Mackie and Tim Evans-Jones at the Royal College of Music Benjamin Britten International Opera School. Winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in 2008, he is also a prizewinner at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Gerald Moore Awards (singer's prize). He is currently a member of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Scheme, and studies with Jeffrey Talbot.
Johnson's recent opera engagements include a critically acclaimed Novice in Michael Grandage's new production of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne Festival Opera conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Copland's The Tender Land at Opéra de Lyon and productions for Scottish Opera and the Classical Opera Company. In concerts he has recently sung Orbin in Elgar Caractacus with the Philharmonia under Sir Andrew Davis, Handel Samson under Harry Bicket and music by Frank Bridge with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Proms, Mozart concert arias under Jiří Bělohlávek, Britten Les Illuminations under Francesco Corti, Evangelist St Matthew Passion under Nicholas Kraemer, and in Wozzeck under Esa-Pekka Salonen. Other repertoire include Britten Serenade with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Strauss Lieder with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn Paukenmesse and Britten Nicolas Cantata at De Doelen in Rotterdam, Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Handel Messiah with the English Chamber Orchestra, and his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared at the Three Choirs, Aldeburgh, and Brighton Festivals.
In recital he works regularly with Graham Johnson. They have performed together at the Wigmore Hall, the Klavier Festival in the Ruhr in Germany, and at Snape in Aldeburgh. Most recently, they have also recorded songs by Poulenc for Hyperion records. Johnson has also worked with Malcolm Martineau at Aldeburgh Festival, Roger Vignoles at the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, and James Baillieu at the Wigmore Hall and for the City of London Festival.
Highlights in 2011/12 season include Nemorino The Elixir of Love for English National Opera and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni for Opéra National de Bordeaux, Britten Canticles at deSingel, Antwerp with Roger Vignoles, Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music in Palermo, Antwerp and London, Melot and Shepherd in concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the CBSO, St Matthew Passion with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and concerts with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. In future seasons, he will also make debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orkest.
Johnson is currently an ENO Young Singer and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent.