Four new Honorary Fellows of King's were elected at the Annual Congregation last Thursday (5 December). The new Fellows are John Barrell, George Benjamin, Tony Clarke and Leslie Valiant.
Professor John Barrell FBA (b. 1943) is a scholar of British literature, history and art in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He graduated in English from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1964 and completed his PhD at the University of Essex in 1968. After four years teaching English Literature at Essex, he was elected a Fellow of King's and was a Fellow and University Lecturer in English until 1985. Since then he has been Professor of English at the universities of Sussex and York, and is currently Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London.
Professor George Benjamin CBE (b. 1960) is a composer, conductor and teacher of music. In 1976, he entered the Paris Conservatoire to study with Olivier Messiaen (composition) and Yvonne Loriod (piano). He continued his studies in music as an undergraduate here at King's under Alexander Goehr. His first orchestral work, Ringed by the Flat Horizon, was performed at the BBC Proms when he was just 20 and still an undergraduate, so he is the youngest living composer have had a composition performed at the Proms. His compositions receive numerous international performances and the Southbank Centre, London, presented in 2012 a retrospective of his work as part of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad. He is currently Henry Purcell Professor of Composition at King‘s College, London.
The Right Honourable Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony (b. 1943) is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Tony studied Economics and Law at King's and was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1965. He spent 27 years at the Bar, specialising in maritime and commercial law, and became a QC in 1979. He was appointed to the High Court Bench in 1993 and became the Admiralty Judge in April that year. He has served as Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice. He was also Treasure of Middle Temple in 2012 and is a non-permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong.
Professor Leslie G. Valiant FRS (b. 1949) is a world-renowned computer scientist and computational theorist. He studied Mathematics at King's, took a Diploma in Computing Science at Imperial College, London, and completed his PhD in 1974 at the University of Warwick. He has worked at Leeds, Edinburgh, Harvard and Oxford universities and published on automata theory, machine learning and complexity theory. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious ACM Turing Award for his work. He is currently the T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Honorary Fellowships recognise those of high distinction in their chosen fields. Honorary Fellows are elected at the Annual Congregation of the College, and there can be no more than 25 Honorary Fellows at any one time. For other Honorary Fellows of King's, please see the Honorary Fellows page.