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), Benjamin Baron enjoys a diverse career based in New York City. Highlights include performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops, American Composers Orchestra, American Ballet Theater Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, and a European tour with the London Winds.
Baron has served as principal clarinet of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and New York Symphonic Ensemble which included numerous appearances as soloist on tours throughout Japan. He can be heard on recordings for Sony Classical, as soloist on Naxos, and was also featured on Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounters with The Knights which was recorded for Orange Mountain Music. Solo and E-flat clarinetist for the Broadway revival of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town, the critically acclaimed cast album was released by P.S. Classics. Additional Broadway shows include The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, My Fair Lady, The Great Comet of 1812, and Mary Poppins.
Heard regularly throughout the Northeast, Baron has been a guest principal clarinetist with many orchestras including the Westchester Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Montclair Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Scandia Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the New Haven Symphony who also featured him as soloist for John William's Victor's Tale from The Terminal. He has also been a guest with many of New York's leading contemporary ensembles such as the Locrian Chamber Players, Either/Or Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Currently on the faculty at Montclair State University and member of the Montclair Wind Quintet, Baron previously taught at Lehman College, City University of New York. Clarinetist for the Quintet of the Americas, he gives regular classes and performances as part of their residency at New York University. Baron has been a guest at numerous schools, often facilitated through his artist relationships with D’Addario reeds and Buffet Crampon clarinets. He also directs the wind program at New York City’s Calhoun School, whose institutional emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has had a profound influence.
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 at Arizona State University with Robert Spring, and additional studies were completed at the Royal Conservatory of Belgium with Eddy Vanoosthuyse, funded through a grant from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. His book, The Audition Method for Clarinet, written in collaboration with Mark Nuccio, is available through GIA Publications and 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.