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Salfield's family settled in Cornwall, UK, when he was 9 years old, and he has lived there ever since. He began playing lute at 13 with Ian Thomson at Truro Guitar Studios. When his teacher moved away, he was mainly self-taught. His concert début was in December 1988, and shortly after he performed for the Lute Society at the Artworkers Guild, Queens Square, London. His first international recital was at the Meschede Abteikonzerte, Cologne, Germany, in 1993, and his first full international tour – in the Czech Republic – took place three years later.
Salfield has performed as a soloist, as an accompanist, and in ensemble with Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In August 2015 he gave four concert performances in the UK with his new duo partnership featuring Italian classical guitarist Andrea Dieci, and that November appeared in a series of concerts with him in Poland. BMG Magazine described the duo as "two of the world's finest musicians in their respective fields". Ben Salfield has been a Hannabach Strings artist since 2015.
In August 1994, Ben Salfield fought the last reported duel on UK soil with swords. In January 2020, he began writing as a "political commentator and antisemitism campaigner" for The Times of Israel.
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- BMG Magazine, Winter 2015, review by Si Hunter
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- "Where Now For the UK's Labour Party?". blogs.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 29 January 2020.