Benjamin Schwartz was appointed Director of Artistic Planning with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra beginning in early 2014, concurrently with the start of David Robertson’s tenure as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestra.
Previously, Ben served as Assistant Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2014, where he contributed to all the major aspects of the Orchestra’s artistic planning, including chamber music and symphonic programming for both Boston and Tanglewood seasons, in addition to the coordination of all commissioning and cultural initiatives. Since 2011 Ben has also collaborated with Seiji Ozawa as Artistic Administrator of the Saito-Kinen Festival, Matsumoto.
Outside of his administrative activity, Ben performs as a cellist with a particular passion for contemporary music, appearing regularly as member of The Callithumpian Consort, for which he has also served as Executive Director.
As a performer, Ben has worked with an eclectic group of significant living composers including John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Michael Finnissy, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Helmut Lachenmann, Alvin Lucier, Tristan Murail, Frederic Rzewski, Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, and John Zorn, but also takes great joy in close collaboration with emerging composers.
Ben played cello on the legendary Boston rock band Mission of Burma’s 2006 Matador Records release The Obliterati, which was recognized as Album of the Year in the 2006 Boston Music Awards, and he is also featured in a wide range of highly acclaimed recordings released on the Naxos, New World, Mode, Tzadik and Urtext labels.
Ben received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in French with a minor in music, then moved to Vienna, Austria to pursue studies in cello. He subsequently received his diploma with distinction in cello performance from the Vienna Conservatory, then a MM in cello performance with academic honours from the New England Conservatory of Music. Ben’s principal cello instructors have included David Soyer, Paul Katz, Adalbert Skocic and Karen Buranskas.
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