Benoît Mernier (1964, Belgium) has studied the organ and improvisation with Firmin Decerf and harpsichord with Charles Koenig. He continued his studies at Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège with Jean Ferrard, whose assistant he was for several years. He also studied organ with Bernard Foccroulle and with Jean Boyer at the National Regional Conservatoire of Lille. Along with the organ, Benoît Mernier has devoted himself to composition. In this field, he was able to profit from the counsels of Claude Ledoux, Henri Pousseur, Luca Francesconi, Emmanuel Nunes, Bernard Foccroulle, and Célestin Deliège. He studied the composition with Philippe Boesmans.
His organ work Artifices was the prizewinner of the 1990 UNESCO International Composers' Tribune. In 1995 the Royal Academy of Belgium awarded him the Fuérison Prize for his Blake Songs for voice and chamber orchestra. His Clarinet Quintet was awarded the Paul Gilson Prize of the French-speaking Public Radios in 1999.
His works have been performed at leading festivals as Ars Musica, Présences, Wien Modern, Gaudeamus, World Music Days (ISCM), Prague Premieres, and have been played by groups and performers such as the Arditti Quartet, the Ensemble Modern, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, the Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, the Liège Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Namur Chamber Choir, the Danel Quartet, the ensembles Ictus and Musiques Nouvelles, the Danel Quartet, the Trio Medicis, the Trio Fibonacci, Oxalys, and Michaël Schönwandt, Bertrand de Billy, Pascal Rophé, Jonas Alber, Ronald Zollman Pierre Bartholomée, Lorraine Vaillancourt, Patrick Davin, Georges-Elie Octors, …
His first opera « Frühlings Erwachen » was commissioned by the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels) (World premiere : Brussels : March 2007- French premiere : Opéra du Rhin/Strasbourg : September 2008). His second opera « La dispute » after Marivaux will be performed in 2013 at La Monnaie (stage production by Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann).
His works are featured in several CDs released on the Cypres label, one of them having won the Snepvangers Prize awarded in 2001 by the Belgian Musical Press Union and the CD/DVD of his opera is awarded "Diapason d'Or".
Benoît Mernier lives in Brussels. He teaches improvisation and the organ at the Institut supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur. Since 2007, he is member of Royal Academy of Belgium (Fine Arts section.