Mira Benjamin is a Canadian violinist, researcher and new-music instigator. She performs new and old music with an experimental outlook, and is interested in how the human body holds and experiences knowledge.
Her PhD as Duncan Druce Scholar in Music Performance the University of Huddersfield (supervised by Philip Thomas, 2019) explored a relational epistemology of musical pitch via various ways of practising, modelling, representing, and ultimately knowing pitch space. Current research interests include embodiment, practice research, epistemology of practice, 4E cognition, and person-centred pedagogy.
Mira’s varied career has spanned many genres of musical practice, including work with electronics (CIRMMT, BEK Bergen, NOTAM); dance (Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Stopgap Dance Company, Marc Boivin); improvised music (with artists such as Radu Malfatti, John Tilbury, Angharad Davies, Christian Wolff, Michael Duch, and Michael Pisaro); film (David Lefeber, Angela Guyton, Nathalie Boujold); theatre (Théâtre Momentum, Amber Priestley); and world-leading bands (Radiohead, Goldfrapp, Justice).
Her practice of collaboration with composers has seen the world premieres of over 200 new works. Close collaborators include composers Taylor Brook, Cassandra Miller, John Lely, Amber Priestley, Jürg Frey, James Weeks, Linda Caitlin Smith, Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, and Scott McLaughlin.
After growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mira lived for many years in Montréal, where she was a member of the Bozzini Quartet. Since 2014 she has resided in the UK, where she now performs regularly as a violinist with Apartment House, Plus Minus Ensemble and Decibel Ensemble.
Mira was the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts – awarded annually to a Canadian musician in recognition of a valuable contribution to artistic life in Canada and internationally.