Benjamin Baron enjoys performing with New York City’s finest ensembles and traveling the world as a clarinetist. Praised by the American Record Guide for his “clean, incisive clarinet playing” and by the New York Times for having “evoked sounds of nature”, the New York Sun said his performance of Messaien’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps was “played with reverence.” Following a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, the Sioux City Journal hailed him as a player of “great emotion, skill, and intensity.” Career highlights include performing with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Composer’s Orchestra, New York Pops, American Ballet Theater 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 a 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 him on Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet and he has collaborated with the Locrian Chamber Players, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble, Ensemble Connect, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
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 guest principal clarinet with the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Montclair Orchestra, Scandia Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. The Westchester Philharmonic also featured him as soloist for Paquito D’Rivera’s Danzón as did the New Haven Symphony for John William's Victor's Tale. 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. He has also played Broadway productions of The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, My Fair Lady, The Great Comet of 1812, and Mary Poppins.
Baron is currently on the clarinet faculty at Montclair State University and is also the Woodwind Department Chair. He previously taught at City University of New York at Lehman College and is in residence at New York University as a member of 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. Baron is the Director of Winds and Brass at New York City’s Calhoun School where he has begun a composition initiative to address race and gender related inequities in student music while elevating the artistic quality of new works for young people. Jeffrey Scott, Katie Kresek, and Xinyan Li composed pieces for the inaugural year.
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. Upcoming releases include The Audition Method for Violin with David Kim, flute with Joshua Smith, and horn with William VerMuelen.
Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Ben currently resides in Oradell, New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.