Benjamin Verdery A Montage of a Classical Guitarist

Hamilton Books has released Benjamin Verdery A Montage of a Classical Guitarist

This book honors the classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery, Professor at the Yale School of Music. It contains personal reflections from his friends and colleagues which illustrate several aspects of Professor Verdery: his influence on his peers, his students, and the classical guitar world; features of his musical career; and characteristics of his personality. In addition, there is an extensive essay by Professor Verdery himself in which he presents his thoughts and ideas on such musical endeavors as performing, composing, arranging, teaching, and recording. Rounding out the book are listings of his compositions, a discography, online video and audio files, recital programs, publications, and related websites.

Edited by Thomas Donahue
Thomas Donahue is the author of several books on musicological subjects, including the modern classical organ, musical temperament, the stringing of harpsichords, and a style guide for writing about music. He has also edited books honoring Gerhard Brunzema, Anthony Newman, Peter Williams, and Christopher Hogwood.

Ben Verdery Releases Purple Haze video

Last May, 50 years after the release of the ground breaking album Are You Experienced, my dear friend Ray White called me to see if I would do an interview discussing my thoughts on Jimi Hendrix.Talk to Ray about my love for Jimi? Are you kidding? I was in! Ray is one of America's most beloved music radio personalities. I listened to Ray on WNEW FM when I was teenager. As it turned out Ray's film crew consisted of two Parisians, Pierre Mitz and Eric Stockplus. We all had so much fun doing the interview that I suggested we do Purple Haze video here in town. A day later, on quite a foggy purple afternoon, we borrowed a friend's down town roof top complete with a pirate flag (!) and shot the video. It is both a tribute to Jimi Hendrix whose music deeply moves me 50 years later and a small tribute to the city he loved so. Ray, Eric, Pierre and I wish you Peace, love and more Jimi!


Ben Verdery releases Searching for a Chorale video

Note from Ben:
Searching for a Chorale was written in November/December 2016 by my mentor Seymour Bernstein. I had asked Seymour to write a piece for me several years ago. During the intermission of a gorgeous recital by our mutual dear friend David Leisner, I turned to him and said, " so, are you going to write a piece for me or what?"

The next morning I received an email from Seymour. Here is a quote from that email:

"I am thinking of a piece for you. You know how Britten resolves his masterpiece into a Dowland prayer? Well I have a favorite Bach chorale to dissolve your piece into. I already began to play around with the chorale."

And so the journey began between composer and performer. After learning Searching.. I had many coaching sessions on the work similar to others I have had with Seymour for the past 30+ years. He at the piano and me next to him with guitar in hand. A bit of our silliness is captured in the first video clip we released announcing the work. At the core of Searching for a Chorale and it's interpretation lay two people's profound love and respect for music and friendship. 

Searching for a Chorale
Composer: Seymour Bernstein
Guitarist: Benjamin Verdery
Recorded at Elm City Records Speak Easy Studios
Recording Producer: Solomon Silber
Recording Engineer : Evan Bakke
Video Filmed by Scott Johnson and Sean Hower of Polyphonic Ind. Maui HI
Video Editor: Mitsuko Verdery
Guitar: Garrett Lee
Strings: D'Addario
Clothing: Fumi
Special Mahalo to all at St. John's Episcopal Church, Kula, Maui HI for allowing to film in this magical church and setting.
Publisher: Doberman-Yippan

Ben Verdery releases J.S. Bach Chaconne video

This past July and August guitarist/composer Ben Verdery recorded J.S. Bach's Chaconne and created this video on the island of Maui. The release is a celebrates the preservation of the Earth, Ocean and Sky.

Ben's Reflections of J.S. Bach's Masterpiece the Chaconne

I first heard the Chaconne performed by the great Hungarian violinist Alexander Schneider on Thanksgiving Day 1968. It was a private performance for a group of my parents’ friends. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Alexander Schneider and my parents had several mutual friends. Because of this, John and Suzanne Verdery decided to throw a massive Thanksgiving Day feast. It was known throughout the land that if Suzanne Verdery were preparing any meal, you’d want to be on the guest list. Such was her reputation as an extraordinary chef and a fabulously generous hostess.

Sasha, as friends called him, agreed to not only attend but to grace us with a performance of the Bach Chaconne.

About 25 family and friends were invited. Educators, visual artists, and authors including Arthur Miller and his photographer wife Inge Morath and Thomas Messer (director of the Guggenheim Museum) made up this Thanksgiving Day gathering........................
continue reading Ben's Reflections

The Making of the J.S. Bach Chaconne - An Interpretation Celebrating the Preservation of the the Earth, Ocean and Sky

This was indeed a labor of love and perseverance with a little Buster Keaton thrown the full story

Here are some links related to climate change.
Peace, love, guitars and a healthier planet!

ArTravel (Ep.2) Singing With Strings - A Musical Journey In Korea

For 8 days this past August Ben Verdery traveled around South Korea filming for this episode of ArTravelfor Arirang TV, visiting instrument makers, musicians (including the legendary Kayagum master Hywang Byungi), a stunning Buddhist Monastery and various gorgeous locations.
Ben performed for and with Hywang Byungi at his home and with the young virtuoso Jung-ah Song on the edge of the Korean Sea who had learned his piece Mobile. All of the footage was shot live.
The documentary is about 53 minutes long. If you have a little extra time, it is our hope that you will sit back with some popcorn and take this journey with Ben.