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 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 performances of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Weber Concertino on tours throughout Japan. He was a soloist for Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounters with The Knights Chamber Orchestra which was recorded for Orange Mountain Music, and for the Naxos recording of Salvatore di Vittorio’s Clarinet Sonata No. 1. 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. 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.
Heard regularly throughout the Northeast, Baron has been a guest principal clarinetist with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, 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. Baron has been a guest 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.
Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at Montclair State University and member of the Montclair Wind Quintet, Baron previously taught at Lehman College, City University of New York. Also in residence at New York University, his Quintet of the Americas regularly premieres works by composers from North and South America. He has been a guest clinician at many schools which are often facilitated through his artist relationships with D’Addario Reeds and Buffet Crampon Clarinets. He currently directs the Wind and Brass program at New York City’s Calhoun School whose institutional emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has had a profound impact.
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 by a grant from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. His thesis, written in collaboration with Mark Nuccio, The Audition Method for Clarinet Volume 1 is available from 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.