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Thomas Benjamin, composer

Thomas Benjamin

Thomas Benjamin was born in Bennington, Vermont, in 1940. He earned degrees from Bard College, Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the Eastman School of Music. His composition teachers were Leon Kirchner, Carlos Surinach, Ernst Krenek, Arthur Berger, and Bernard Rogers.

Dr. Benjamin has composed works for all media, including concertos for violin, piano, and viola; symphonies; oratorios; cantatas; six operas; and many choral and chamber pieces. More than 60 of his works have been published, and several have been commercially recorded. He has written two books on counterpoint, published by Routledge, and has co-authored three music theory texts, published by Wadsworth and Oxford University Press.

Dr. Benjamin has won prizes in a wide variety of composition contests in the U.S. and abroad. He has received numerous grants, awards, and commissions, from such eminent organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, Meet-the-Composer, the National Music Theater Network, and the Barlow Foundation. He is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Virginia Center, and Hambridge Center. Also active as a clarinetist and choral conductor, Dr. Benjamin taught for many years at the National Music Camp (Interlochen) and the University of Houston's School of Music. He recently retired from teaching theory and composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he was for some years Chair of the Department of Music Theory.

March 7, 2004