Guest conductor, Festival Youth Orchestra
Ben Bolter returns to New England Conservatory to conduct NEC's Festival Youth Orchestra in 2013. An alumnus of NEC's Preparatory School and College who performed in NEC's top orchestras throughout his studies, Ben has moved on to a career in conducting, and is known as an extremely versatile conductor who specializes in a variety of styles. He devotes a large part of his career to contemporary music and constantly explores new ways to conduct and perform. Ben made his conducting debut in June 2008 with the National Symphony Orchestra to critical acclaim in the Washington Post: “Bolter spotlighted the showiest aspects of Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody #1 and made it look easy.”
After finishing his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Indiana University in 2008, he was immediately hired by the university to teach graduate conducting classes, direct the all-campus orchestra, and manage the Conductors Orchestra. He also regularly collaborated with composers, visual artists, and other performers in Indiana. During this time, Ben joined forces with composer Jeremy Podgursky and formed their own contemporary music ensemble and series called HOLOGRAPHIC, which is ongoing. This project targets alternative venues and public schools to create a strong awareness of new music in the central community.
Upon completing his Bachelor of Music in oboe performance, Ben apprenticed to Michael Morgan and served as a staff conductor for the Oakland youth and San Francisco Community Music Center orchestras. At age 22, Ben attended the Aspen Music festival as a fellow for the American Academy of Conducting (AACA) where he assisted Harry Bicket in the production of Cavalli’s Giasone. He was also conductor for numerous programs with the AACA orchestra.
Ben has participated in numerous masterclasses and workshops with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Herbert Blomstedt, David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, James DePreist, and Michael Morgan, and studied with conductors David Effron and Thomas Baldner at Indiana University.
In addition to his work as a conductor, Ben is also an active keyboard player/songwriter. He has been a member of both cover and original bands and has performed in venues all over Indiana, as well as Chicago. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, where he serves as artist faculty for Roosevelt University, Director of Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, Director of the El Sistema inspired YOURS Orchestra (People’s Music School), and co-founder/principal conductor of the HOLOGRAPHIC New Music Series.
B.M. in oboe, New England Conservatory; M.M. in conducting, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Also faculty of Roosevelt University, Merit School of Music, People's Music School.
photo by Liz Linder
Video: Ben Bolter conducts the Merit School of Music's Chamber Orchestra, February 2013