Ben Bolter returns to New England Conservatory to conduct NEC's Festival Youth Orchestra. Ben Bolter is an extremely versatile conductor who specializes in a variety of musical styles. He devotes a large part of his career to contemporary music and is constantly exploring 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 Enensco’s Romanian Rhapsody #1 and made it look easy.” He has also worked as an assistant conductor with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Ben completed his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting with a minor in Electronic Music from Indiana University (IU) in 2008. During his time at IU, he was the Associate Director of the New Music Ensemble and collaborated with Alan Pierson, Founder and Artistic Director of Alarm Will Sound and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. After graduating, Ben was hired by the university to teach his own graduate conducting course, direct the all-campus orchestra, and manage the Conductors Orchestra. He also regularly collaborated with composers, visual artists, dancers and other performers in Indiana. During this time, he joined forces with composer Jeremy Podgursky and formed HOLOGRAPHIC, a contemporary music ensemble and series which targets mainstream and alternative venues to create a strong awareness of new music in the central community.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance at the New England Conservatory (NEC), Ben apprenticed to Michael Morgan and served as a conductor for the Oakland Youth and San Francisco Community Music Center orchestras. At age 21, Ben was invited to 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 and directed his own production of Stravinsky’s L ’Histoire du Soldat. Additionally, he conducted numerous other programs with the AACA orchestra.

Ben has participated in numerous masterclasses and workshops with renowned 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 keyboardist and 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 where he serves as artist/faculty for the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, a regular guest at DePaul University, Director of Conservatory Orchestras at the Merit School of Music, Artistic Director of The People’s Music School Youth Orchestras (El Sistema Chicago), Conductor of NEC’s Festival Youth Orchestra and co-founder/principal conductor of HOLOGRAPHIC.

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

Related links:

Ben Bolter at Merit School of Music