Benjamin Butterfield did not plan to become a singer. He grew up in Victoria, B.C. where he simply fell into music. He was expected to sing at church. Then as a teenager, Butterfield found a mentor, who led him to the great music of the world. He followed his brother, Peter, to music studies at McGill University in Montreal. His teachers included the Canadian tenor, Leopold Simoneau and in short order, Butterfield was performing on the great stages of the world: Carnegie Hall in New York, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan and the ancient amphitheatres of Greece.
His repertoire ranges over four centuries, from Bach to Butterfield; his brother Christopher is a renowned composer who has written music for Ben, including a song cycle based on the stories of French poet Jacques Prevert. Butterfield is also drawn to the songs of Randy Newman and incorporates them into his song recitals.
He heads the voice department at the University of Victoria and lives in Victoria with his wife, soprano Anne Grimm, and their children.
This Is My Music is heard Saturdays on CBC Radio 2 at 10:00 am ET.
Acclaimed tenor Benjamin Butterfield talks about the music that's most important to him.