Benjamin Verdery

Benjamin Verdery

Benjamin Verdery has enjoyed an innovative and eclectic musical career. He has released over 15 albums, his most recent, Branches (Mushkatweek) features arrangements of works by Bach, Mozart, Strauss, Hendrix and the traditional Amazing Grace. His recording, Start Now (Mushkatweek), won the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award. Other recordings of note include Some Towns and Cities which won the 1992 Guitar Player Magazine Best Classical Guitar Recording and his collaboration with John Williams on John Williams Plays Vivaldi (Sony Classical).

Since his 1980 New York debut with his wife, flutist Rie Schmidt, Benjamin Verdery has performed worldwide. He has recorded and performed with such diverse artists as Frederic Hand, William Coulter, Leo Kottke, Anthony Newman, Jessye Norman, Paco Peña, Hermann Prey and John Williams.

Since 1985, Benjamin has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music. In 2004, the Yale University Music Library commissioned Ingram Marshall to compose a work for classical and electric guitars. Dark Florescence was premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra and Steven Sloane in February 2005.

A prolific composer, many of Benjamin Verdery’s compositions have been performed and published over the years. Most recently, Verdery completed Peace, Love and Guitars for John Williams and John Etheridge recorded at the Dublin Festival in July 2006 and released by SONY in September 2006. His Scenes from Ellis Island for guitar orchestra has been extensively broadcast and performed at festivals and universities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet included it on their CD Air and Ground (Sony Classical). His Etudes for guitar orchestra was commissioned by the Tidewater Classical Guitar Society and premiered at the 2004 Virginia International Festival.

This past spring Benjamin Verdery became a member of the SAA’s Honorary Board.

Benjamin Verdery Master Guitarist Teacher and Composer

March 5, 2008 by Andrea Cannon, Benjamin Verdery

What is your background with guitar? How old were you when you started and what attracted you to it? It was the Beatles! I remember when I first heard “I Saw Her Standing There” it just hit me like a bolt… Read more ▶

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