- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I'm a professional accordionist, composer, and improviser of klezmer, experimental, and contemporary chamber music. My accordion lessons for all levels and ages build traditional performance skills while emphasizing improvisation, creativity, and fun. All students can choose which material they would like to explore — classical, folk, klezmer, rock, experimental, and more.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 3+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
Ben is an experienced professional accordionist, composer, and founding director of Ghost Ensemble, and a former professor at the City University of New York.
As a solo accordionist, Ben draws from contemporary chamber music, experimental improvisation, and traditional klezmer practice to create atmospheric music that explores a timeless, mystical space at the intersection of memory and imagination. As a composer, Ben creates chamber music that explores sound-worlds of constant transformation, combining subtly shifting timbres and sliding microtonal fluctuations to create music that critic George Grella has described as “a look, perhaps, into a different dimension … the music sounds like something incomprehensibly massive is passing by, slowly.”
Ben has performed with The Dresden Dolls, Ghost Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, Pauline Oliveros, Butch Morris, the Surrealist Training Circus, The Land of Dreams, Over A Cardboard Sea, and Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains. He studied contemporary composition at Bard College (New York) and performance with the experimental composer and accordionist Pauline Oliveros. With research focused on parahypnotic phenomena in music, he completed an MM at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2012. He has composed new music for the American Symphony Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, SEM Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, Ostravska Banda, Wild Rumpus, accordion duo Toeac, It Nije Ensemble, New York Miniaturist Ensemble, and Da Capo Chamber Players. His most recent album, "Panthalassa: Dream Music of the Once and Future Ocean", was released on Infrequent Seams in 2017.
Founding director of the New York-based experimental contemporary music group.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.
Ben was amazing! He listened very carefully, always gave great feedback, and was very patient. I'm not the most musically inclined, so he was great at not just teaching me how to play but also how to read music while helping me understand how the accordion works, and letting me explore. He even gave me advice on proper carrying equipment to find an easy to carry gig case (I inherited a heavy 120-bass accordion from my grandma, including her bulky old suitcase carrier). The only reason I stopped taking lessons from Ben was because he moved overseas. I can't recommend him highly enough!Show More
Ben is an excellent, inspirational teacher and I loved my lessons! He taught me to improvise and to have confidence in myself to 'have a go'. I have had lessons on a number of instruments, but my accordion lessons with Ben are the ones which I have enjoyed the most and in which I have progressed the quickest. He is a great teacher and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to work with him.Show More