Benyamin Sönmez was born in Bremen in 1983. His father was a musician and he was brought up in musical atmosphere. Benyamin began playing the cello at the age of 14. When he was 17 years old, he won first prize in the National Cello Contest. In 2000, he performed with BBC soloists series in İş Sanat Concert Hall. After graduating from Ankara State Conservatory, Sönmez won the Barenreiter Prize in the International Young Concert Artists Competition in Leipzig in 2001. In the same year, with the support of Yuri Bashmet, Sönmez started studying with the Russian cellist, Prof. Natalia Gutman at the Stuttgart Music Academy and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory between 2003 and 2007. His repertoire included modern composers including Shostakovich, Schnittke, Kancheli, S. Gubaidulina, Piazzolla and Kodaly as well as the composers of Baroque music such as J.S. Bach and other eras. He also had an opportunity to meet worldwide famous virtuoso including M. Rostropovich, David Geringas, Philippe Muller, Alexander Rudin, Stevan Popov, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Anner Bylsma, Karine Georgian, Colin Karr, Miklos Perenyi and Yo Yo Ma.
Sönmez was invited to the festivals such as Schleswig Holstein (Germany), Oleg Kagan Festival (Germany-Russia), Adam Cello Festival (New Zealand) and Manchester Cello Festival (England); and the concert series, which were organized for the cerebration of the 80th birthday of Rostropovich. In 2006, Sönmez was selected as one of the five in the 350 professional cellists in the International Adam Cello Competition in New Zealand, which was organized under the patronage of M. Rostropovich. In the same year, Sönmez won the Best Performer of Boccherini. He performed all concert of Dmitri Shostakovich on the occasion of 100th anniversary of his birthday in old Republics of the Soviet Union countries. Sönmez gave many recitals with the pianist, Oxana Uablonskaya and performed as a soloist with many National orchestras. He performed with famous conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Sanderling, Donald Runnicles and Valery Gergiev. Sönmez also performed as a director and member of the Camerata Barocco, which he founded. He passed away in 2011.
Reference: muzikfakultesi.com, muziksoylesileri.net, crrks.org, en.wikipedia.org, klasiknotlari.com