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Biography
Exciting young American cellist Benjamin Capps enjoys a versatile performing career. His playing has been praised as “most appealing” by Bernard Holland of the New York Times and “rich . . and human” by the New York Sun. He has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie’s Stern, Weill and Zankel Halls, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Mann Hall (Tel Aviv), Meyerson Hall (Dallas), the Palace of Fine Arts and Sala Nezahualcoytl (Mexico City), and has been featured on WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase. His has appeared as soloist with Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony, the Manhattan School of Music Composer’s Orchestra, and his performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto at the 2010 Music Festival of the Americas in Vermont was hailed as “virtuosic and impassioned” (Barre Montpelier Times). A recent career highlight, in March, 2010 he traveled by invitation to Peoples Republic of China and presented recitals and master classes in Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Gulangyu.

Mr. Capps is the principal cellist of Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, a dynamic symphony orchestra founded by conductor Alondra de la Parra dedicated to performing the music of the American Continent. Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas’ double CD for Sony Classical of music by Mexican composers (Mi Alma Mexicana), previewed at two sold-out concerts at Alice Tully Hall in May 2010, was released in August 2010.

An avid chamber musician, he has participated in the Bowdoin, Schlern Int’l (Italy), Burgos Int’l (Spain) and Summit Summer Festivals, the Perlman Music Program, the ChamberFest and FOCUS! Festivals in Lincoln Center. Closer to home, Mr. Capps has made numerous appearances on the Tactus Series, and has performed on Trinity Church’s Music at One series, and at Bargemusic, and founded the Capanglia Trio in 2003, the Sonar Players in 2006, and the New York Chamber Collective in 2007.
An ardent performer of new music, he is committed to performing new music of today’s young composers. Mr. Capps has given numerous premier performances of new cello works, including Daniel Vezza Pulsations for Cello and Chamber Orchestra (composed for Mr. Capps), Marcus Paus Cello Sonnets, Anna Klein Fits and Starts, Daniel Vezza Circles, and Robert Karpay’s Cello Concerto. His recording of Andrew Violette’s Songs and Dances for unaccompanied cello (Innova Recordings) was released in June 2010. In 2006 he founded the Sonar Players, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary American chamber music, which opened Bargemusic’s Here and Now Series of contemporary American chamber music in June, 2007 with a program of the music of George Crumb.


Mr. Capps is passionate about music education and community outreach. He is a Teaching Assistant at Juilliard, a position he has held since 2009. Since 2008, he has taught in Philharmonic Orchestra of the America’s Arts and Education Program, an innovative program in partnership with the New York City Department of Education which encourages artistic creativity by introducing young public school students to the fundamentals of music composition.


A native of New York City, Benjamin Capps began playing the cello at age four with Nellis DeLay at Manhattan’s School For Strings, continuing at Juilliard Pre-College with Anne Alton and modern cello guru Fred Sherry. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music with David Soyer in 2008. He received a Master of Music Degree from Juilliard in May 2010, with David Soyer and Bonnie Hampton. He is the recipient of many awards, including the New York State Association of Music Teachers Scholarship Competition 1999; Juilliard Pre-College Symphony, Concerto Competition, 2001; Schlern International Music Festival Competition, 2004, the Lillian Fuchs Award, 2004, the Francis Goelet Scholarship, Juilliard 2008-2009, and the Irving Mulde Scholarship, Juilliard, 2009-10. He has coached with numerous cellists, among them Bernard Greenhouse, Ko Iwasaki, Paul Katz, and Nathanial Rosen, has performed in master class for Steven Isserlis Alexander Rudin, Mischa Maisky, Natalia Gutman, Peter Wylie, Timothy Eddy, Matt Haimowitz and Jonathan Biss, and has coached chamber music with Joseph Kalichstein, Sylvia Rosenberg, Isidore Cohen, Seymour Lipkin, Alexander Slobodyanik, Andre Michel Schub, and Vivian Weilerstein. Mr. Capps makes his home in New York City.

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