Benjamin Beckman (b. 2000) is a composer seeking to create intellectually stimulating and emotionally charged works of art for a 21st century landscape. His music, rooted in the Classical tradition, draws influence from a wide variety of styles – from post-rock, to jazz fusion, to traditional Jewish cantillation, among many others – to synthesize a new and unique sound for the modern world.
Photo by Analea Beckman
Beckman’s orchestral music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra. Other collaborations include those with the Long Beach Opera, Frost School of Music Ensemble Ibis, Triton Brass, the Lyris Quartet, Opera Elect, and the Thornton Edge. His music has been notably presented on the BBC Proms, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Concertgebouw Presents: Summer Concerts, the HearNow Festival, NPR’s From the Top, YoungArts Los Angeles, and Yale College New Music.
His compositions have been recognized by the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards, the American Composers Forum Nextnotes Awards, the National YoungArts Foundation, and composition competitions sponsored by the University of Miami, the University of Kentucky, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Elect.
Past teachers and mentors include Sarah Gibson, Andrew Norman, Sean Shepherd, Martin Amlin, and Justin Casinghino. Beckman participated in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program from 2016 to 2019, studied at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Summer 2018, served as a composition apprentice to the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America in Summer 2019, and participated in the Fifth House Ensemble’s virtual fresh inc. festival in Summer 2020. He is currently majoring in music at Yale College where he studies with Kathryn Alexander. Beckman also teaches composition for Through the Staff, an organization dedicated to offering free music lessons to young musicians who may not otherwise have access to them.
As a performer, Beckman plays principal horn for the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra, sings in the Yale Schola Cantorum, and freelances as a rehearsal pianist. He serves as Assistant Artistic Director of the Opera Theater of Yale College and is the executive director of the annual Yale Cantata Project.
Upcoming projects include a full-length fusion album with saxophonist Roshan Nayar and an orchestral work for the Yale Symphony Orchestra.