Benjamin Baron performs with New York City’s finest ensembles and travels the world as a clarinetist. The New York Times praised him for having “evoked sounds of nature” and recommended audiences "listen for the lone clarinet”. Hailed by the American Record Guide for his “clean, incisive clarinet playing”, The New York Sun said his Messaien Quatuor pour la fin du temps was “played with reverence.” Following a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, the Sioux City Journal applauded him for being a player of “great emotion, skill, and intensity.” Career highlights include performances with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, and Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Baron toured Europe with the London Winds, playing the Serenades of Richard Strauss and Mozart’s Gran Partita. He was soloist for Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounters with The Knights Chamber Orchestra (Orange Mountain Music) and bass clarinetist for the world premiere of Gilad Cohen’s wind sextet, The Last Battle of King Sorrow, at Carnegie Hall with their affiliate ensemble, DeCoda. The American Symphony Orchestra featured Baron on Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet as did the Westchester Philharmonic for Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds with Jeremy Denk. He has collaborated with the Locrian Chamber Players, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble, Ensemble Connect, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Baron served as principal clarinet of the Chamber Orchestra of New York (Naxos), Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (Sony Classical), and New York Symphonic Ensemble which featured many solo performances on tours throughout Japan including Suntory Hall. He has been a guest principal clarinet with the New Jersey Symphony, American Composer’s Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra where he has also served as an acting member for multiple seasons. The Westchester Philharmonic featured him as soloist for Paquito D’Rivera’s Danzón as did the New Haven Symphony for John Williams’ Victor's Tale. Baron has appeared regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Pops, Orchestra Lumos, and American Ballet Theater Orchestra. He was the clarinetist for the Broadway revival of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town and the critically acclaimed cast album released by P.S. Classics. Additional Broadway productions include Sweeney Todd, Parade, The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, My Fair Lady, The Great Comet of 1812, and Mary Poppins. He was also clarinetist for the Encores presentation of The Light in the Piazza.
Currently a member of the faculty and Woodwind Department Coordinator at Montclair State University, Baron previously taught at Lehman College and was in residence at New York University with the Quintet of the Americas. He has been a guest at many schools, often facilitated through his artist relationships with Buffet Crampon Clarinets and D’Addario Reeds. Previously the Director of Instrumental Music at New York City’s Calhoun School, Baron began a composition initiative to address race and gender related inequities in student music while elevating the artistic quality of new works for young people. Katie Kresek, Jeffrey Scott, and Xinyan Li wrote pieces in the inaugural year and more pieces continue to get commissioned.
Baron earned his doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music and received additional degrees from Yale University, Arizona State University, and the Royal Conservatory of Belgium which was funded through a fellowship from the Belgian - American Educational Foundation. His thesis, The Audition Method for Clarinet, Volume 1, is available from GIA Publications. Along with his co-author Mark Nuccio, Volume 2 is nearing completion and the method is being expanded into a series for additional orchestral instruments. The Audition Method for Violin with David Kim was released in 2022. Versions for flute with Joshua Smith and horn with William VerMuelen are in production with plans for more underway.
Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Ben currently resides in Oradell, New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.