Tim Benjamin

composer, writer, storyteller

Three Portraits


These three short pieces are affectionate portraits of friends of mine. They may hear themselves (in various ways) in these pieces, and indeed those who know them might guess at these hints. For those who don’t know who the pieces are about — and that may include the subjects themselves, for I have no plans to tell them who they are — the descriptive tempo markings are intended to provide a short introduction to my writer’s-eye view in the music which follows.

I composed these Three Portraits in the year of what would have been Elgar’s 150th birthday, and I tip my hat to the great composer and his Enigma Variations, which similarly are portraits of friends, and many movements of which also use simple initials to title the movements. There, as far as I know, the similarities end!

  1. “S.F.”: With humour, and unexpected flashes of temper.

  2. “H.U.”: Calm and very sustained.

  3. “A.Y.”: Quite agitated, impatient.


7 minutes


French horn, violin, cello, piano

First performance

Radius at Wigmore Hall, 8th January 2008 (Daniel Rowland, violin; Oliver Coates, cello; Jocelyn Lightfoot, horn; John Reid, piano)


A live recording, performed by Radius

Request a score / parts

If you would like to see a score and/or require a set of parts for this music, please contact me.