George Benjamin was born in London in 1960. He attended Westminster School and then studied with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire during the second half of the 1970s. Messiaen was reported to have described Benjamin as his favourite pupil. He subsequently read music at King's College, Cambridge, studying under Alexander Goehr, receiving a double first.
He is a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et Lettres and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, he was also awarded the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester's first ever Schoenberg prize for composition in 2002. In 2001 he was awarded the Arnold Schönberg Prize and is an honorary fellow of the Guildhall School, the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Music.
He was awarded a CBE in 2010 and is the youngest living composer ever to have had music performed at the Proms.
Written On Skin is an opera in three parts and was commissioned by a consortium of five major opera houses from around the world including the Royal Opera House, London. The work had its UK premiere on 8 March 2013 at the Royal Opera House.