Benjamin Verdery
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Benjamin Verdery Guitarist, Composer and Teacher


Described as "iconoclastic" and "inventive" by The New York Times and "one of the classical guitar world's most foremost personalities," by Classical Guitar Magazine, Benjamin Verdery enjoys an innovative and eclectic musical career.

Since 1980 Mr Verdery has performed worldwide in theatres and at festivals, including Theatre Carré (Amsterdam); the International Guitar Festival (Havana, Cuba); Wigmore Hall (England); the 92nd Street Y, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera (NYC). His tours regularly take him to Canada, Europe, Asia and throughout the United States. He has recorded and performed with such diverse artists as Andy Summers, Frederic Hand, William Coulter, Leo Kottke, Anthony Newman, Jessye Norman, Paco Peña, Hermann Prey and John Williams. Several composers have composed music for him, including Daniel Asia, John Anthony Lennon, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, Roberto Sierra, Van Stiefel and Jack Vees.

Mr Verdery has released over 15 albums, his most recent, Branches (Mushkatweek) features arrangements of works by Bach, Mozart, Strauss, Hendrix and the traditional Amazing Grace. His recording, Start Now (Mushkatweek), won the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award. Other recordings of note include Some Towns & Cities which won the 1992 Guitar Player Magazine Best Classical Guitar Recording and his collaboration with John Williams on John Williams Plays Vivaldi (Sony Classical). Mr Verdery is currently working on a second recording with guitarist Bill Coulter called “Happy Here” and another solo recording featuring Yale composers.

Since 1985, Mr Verdery has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music. In 2004, the Yale University Music Library commissioned Ingram Marshall to compose a work for classical and electric guitars. Dark Florescence was premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra and Steven Sloane in February 2005 and had its European premiere at the Belfast Festival (Ireland) with the Ulster Orchestra in November 2005. The electric guitarist for these occasions was Andy Summers (of The Police). Having met at the 2002 New York Guitar Festival, Mr Verdery and Andy have since recorded First you Build A Cloud.

A prolific composer, many of Mr Verdery's compositions have been performed, recorded and published over the years. Most recently, the Assad Duo premiered his newest work, What He Said. Commissioned by the 92 St Y, the work is dedicated to the late luthier Thomas Humphrey. Other recent works have included Now and Ever (for David Russell,Telarc), Peace, Love and Guitars (for John Williams and John Etheridge, SONY Classical), Capitola (John Williams, SONY Classical) and Give (for eight guitars). This last was composed specifically for Thomas Offermann and the guitar ensemble of the Hochschule for Music and Theatre (Rostock, Germany) and dedicated to the memory of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy. Mr Verdery's Scenes from Ellis Island, for guitar orchestra, has been extensively broadcast and performed at festivals and universities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet included it on their CD Air and Ground (Sony Classical). Doberman-Yppan (Canada) is currently publishing his solo and duo works for guitar and Workshop Arts (distributed by Alfred Music) has published the solo pieces from Some Towns & Cities as well as instructional books and video.

In addition to his performance tours, recording and teaching Mr Verdery is Artistic Director of Art of the Guitar at the 92nd St Y (New York City) and of the Yale Guitar Extravaganza (New Haven, CT) and is honorary board member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. Each summer he holds his Annual International Master Class on the Island of Maui (Hawaii).

"Generous and courageous, Verdery offered a concert like we've seldom heard." GUITARE CLASSIQUE (France) October, 2006

Benjamin Verdery uses D'Addario strings and guitars by Greg Smallman and Christopher Carrington.

For further information, please visit his personal website,