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Biography

American flutist Benjamin Smolen has performed across the globe, from the United States to Europe, Russia, and Japan. In 2011, he was appointed Principal Flutist of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California. Since beginning his studies at the age of ten in Charlotte, North Carolina, he has won First Prize at the Haynes International Flute Competition and James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition, and Second Prize at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition. He has also given solo performances with the Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra, and on National Public Radio’s From the Top with pianist Christopher O’Riley.


Benjamin has had the privilege to work with a wide variety of contemporary composers including Robert Beaser, John Harbison, Helmut Lachenmann, Paul Lansky, Lei Liang, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Joseph Schwantner, and John Williams. He has also performed with renowned conductors Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gustavo Dudamel, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Kurt Masur, Edoardo Muller, Robert Spano, Jaap van Sweden, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Hugh Wolff. His performances have been featured on NPR, WGBH-Boston, French National Radio, and the Naxos and Mode record labels. During the summer, Benjamin has participated in the Manchester Music Festival, the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, and twice as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.


Benjamin completed his undergraduate studies in the Music and Slavic departments at Princeton University, during which time he also completed a Performance Diploma at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and studied with Michael Parloff, Jayn Rosenfeld, and Aleksandr Golyshev. Benjamin also earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the New England Conservatory where he studied with Paula Robison.


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