Benjamin Narvey, lutenist and musicologist, was born in Montréal in 1978 and began his musical training in 1981 with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto). Upon completion of conservatory in Canada, he took a Bachelor of Music degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where he studied the lute and continuo with David Miller. Benjamin has also refined his understanding of diverse aspects of period lute performance under the tutelage of Paul O’Dette, Nigel North, and Hopkinson Smith.
He has performed as a continuist under the baton of prestigious directors such as Paul Agnew, Kenneth Weiss, Ton Koopman and Sir Roger Norrington, and his first solo disc – dedicated to the music of Germain Pinel, the lutenist and music master of the young Louis XIV – is to be recorded in 2013 with MA Recordings (Los Angeles). He has also recorded a disc of Marais and de Visée for this label with the violist Nima Ben David in 2010. Benjamin is also an experienced theatre and film musician, having performed with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on its UK and US productions of "Love’s Labour’s Lost" (2009) and "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (2010), and with France 3 for a film adaptation of Molière’s "Le Bourgeois gentilhomme" (2009) starring Christian Clavier.
Augmenting his career as a musician, Benjamin is also active as an academic specializing in the French Baroque. He took his Masters degree from the University of Oxford in 2004, where he researched enlightenment tonal theory with special reference to the writings of Jean-Philippe Rameau. Benjamin continued at Oxford where he recently completed his doctoral thesis, "The French Lute during the Reign of Louis le Grand", the first cultural history of the lute in France during the Grand Siècle. This is currently under review for publication as a monograph with Boydell & Brewer. In 2008, he won the Goldberg Musical Essay Competition. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne) in 2009, and a fellow at the Institute of Musical Research (University of London) in 2010-11.
Benjamin resides in Paris, where he pursues his research all while continuing his career as a professional lutenist.