Clarinetist Benjamin Baron has been praised for his "clean, incisive clarinet playing" (American Record Guide), for having "evoked sounds of nature, helped anchor the piece in place” (New York Times), and as a player of great "emotion, skill, and intensity" (Sioux City Journal) who "played with reverence" (New York Sun). Highlights include appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, American Ballet Theater Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, and a European tour with the London Winds.
Baron has 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 included numerous solo appearances on tours throughout Japan. He has been recorded as soloist for Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounters with The Knights Chamber Orchestra and the Naxos recording of Salvatore di Vittorio’s Clarinet Sonata No. 1. An active Broadway musician, he was solo and E-flat clarinetist for the revival of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town and the critically acclaimed cast album released by P.S. Classics. He has also played the Broadway productions of The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, My Fair Lady, The Great Comet of 1812, and Mary Poppins.
Benjamin has been a guest principal clarinetist with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, Montclair Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Scandia Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. The New Haven Symphony also featured him as soloist for John William's Victor's Tale as did the Westchester Philharmonic for Paquito D’Rivera’s Danzón. He has performed with many of New York's leading contemporary ensembles including the Locrian Chamber Players, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Baron is currently the Woodwind Department Coordinator at Montclair State University and member of the faculty Montclair Wind Quintet. He previously taught at Lehman College, City University of New York ,and is in residence at New York University as a member of the Quintet of the Americas, a group that regularly premieres works by composers from North and South America. He has been a guest at many schools which are often facilitated through his artist/clinician relationships with Buffet Crampon Clarinets and D’Addario Reeds. Benjamin is the Director of Winds and Brass at New York City’s Calhoun School and actively contributes to their institutional emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This has led to the formation of a composition initiative which addresses race and gender related inequities in student music while elevating the artistic quality of new works for young people.
Baron’s graduate degrees are from Yale University and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with David Shifrin, Mark Nuccio, and David Krakauer. His undergraduate degree was completed at Arizona State University with Robert Spring and he later attended the Royal Conservatory of Belgium as a student of Eddy Vanoosthuyse, funded through a grant 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 currently being expanded into a series for additional orchestral instruments.
Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Ben currently resides in Oradell, New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.