WORDS FROM BEN......
Described by the NY Times as “an iconoclastic player” and “an American original, an American master” by Sound Board Magazine, Benjamin Verdery has been hailed for his innovative and eclectic musical career.
In a recent interview, Ben brought us up to date.
“The past two years have been musically exhilarating! They included the release of The Ben Verdery Guitar Project: On Vineyard Sound, new guitar music from my extraordinary colleagues at Yale, released by Elm City Records which I founded with my former student and dear friend, Sol Silber; a documentary shot in Korea for Arirang TV, ArTravel series and three videos including two protest videos: Chant For Peace and J.S. Bach’s Chaconne, subtitled An interpretation Celebrating the Earth, Sky and Sea. In addition, I was honored to perform an evening of my compositions including a new duo, From Aristotle, with Beat Box champion Mark Martin for the GFA, presented concerts and masterclasses in Holland, Germany and England and hosted my 17th annual Maui Guitar Class.
I began 2017 with a premier of Searching for a Chorale by one of my dearest mentor’s, Seymour Bernstein; collaborations with Michiyaya Dance Company; curating and performing at the 92Y’s 2017 Guitar Marathon and embarking on a new solo work for the Changsha International Guitar competition in China.
This past summer I recorded, released the video and published Searching For a Chorale. Doberman released my piece the rain falls equally on all things for the 2017 Changsha International Guitar competition. I was so taken with the warmth and reception of the Chinese festival audience in Changsha.
I’m into my 32nd year as the guitar professor at the Yale School of Music and my 10th year as Artistic Director of 92Y’s Art of the Guitar series.
I enter 2018 arranging Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata for classical guitar and string quartet which is going splendidly!
A year ago, I commissioned with the 92Y, Bryce Dessner to write a guitar and string quartet piece to be premiered on May 10, 2018 at the 92Y with the fabulous St. Lawrence Quartet. In 2018 I will release two CD’s on the ECR label. One will consist of my music and one of American chamber music with guitar featuring Bryce’s piece and my arrangement of the Bernstein clarinet Sonata.
I have just accepted the position of Artistic Director of the Connecticut Guitar Festival. I look forward to curating this event annually. In October 2018 I am off to Chile to teach master classes, play and hear a premier of a new work I will compose for The Chilean Guitar Ensemble featuring Nano Stern conducted by Javier Farrias. Finally, the Maui film makers Polyphonic Industries, LLC filmed last year’s Maui Masterclass. The footage they shot was beyond what we could have hoped for in its scope and beauty. The film makers and our Maui “team” are confident when that it is all compiled, we will have something unique to share. As always, Peace, Love and guitars!!”
Benjamin Verdery is without a doubt a great guitarist possessing an astonishing technique.
– Cordoba Times, Spain
A unique and inspired festival, with the likes of The National, Bill Frisell, the Dirty Projectors, Padma Newsome, Sufjan Stevens and Benjamin Verdery among others. Day 2 of the MusicNOW festival at Memorial Hall was billed as "An Evening Of American Guitar." Avant Garde Jazz guitar legend Bill Frisell was the headliner, but Classical guitarist Ben Verdery stole the show with his opening set.