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Benjamin Hudson (Conductor, Violin, Arranger)

Born: June 14, 1950 - Decatur, Illinois, USA

The American violinist and conductor, Benjamin Hudson, was born in Illinois and grew up in California. He was a full scholarship student with Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Hudson was concertmaster of the conservatory orchestra, at that time under James Levine. Graduate studies on full scholarship with Eudice Shapiro at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. During this time, Hudson participated in Heifetz and Piatigorsky master-classes and became the youngest member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the directorship of Neville Marriner. Other teachers and coaches include famous violin teachers such as Joseph Gingold, Oscar Shumsky, Joseph Silverstein, Felix Galimir, Lynn Harrell, Walter Trampler, and Eugene Lehner and Henryk Szeryng.

During his years in New York from 1975 to 1995, Benjamin Hudson was concertmaster of the Brooklyn Philharmonic (1977-1988 under Lukas Foss and 1988-1995 under Dennis Russell Davies), the Clarion Chamber Orchestra under Newell Jenkins from (1980-1992), Carnegie Hall's New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall under Skitch Henderson (1980-1993), and the Dance Theatre of Harlem Orchestra Orchestra at Lincoln Center (1979-1995). He was also concertmaster of Sweden's Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra for nine seasons and concertmaster of The Hanover Band in London (1988-1995). As soloist and concertmaster, he has worked with well-known conductors such as James Levine, Pierre Boulez, Lukas Foss and Dennis Russell Davies. While in New York, Hudson was first violinist of the Columbia String Quartet (1977-1995), well known for its performances and recordings of contemporary music. The Columbia String Quartet was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation. The quartet has been much praised for its excellent performances and recordings, particularly of contemporary music by composers such as Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Mario Davidovsky, Morton Feldman, Roger Sessions and John Cage. Hudson was also first violinist of Speculum Musicae and the Group for Contemporary Music (1977-1995), New York's two leading contemporary music ensembles. Speculum Musicae won the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1977.

Benjamin Hudson was violin teacher at Columbia University from 1982 to 1990; Music Assoc (teacher) of violin at Rutgers University from 1987 to 1989. He was solo violinist with the Bach Chamber Soloists from 1983 to 1987, and toured the USA extensively with this group and performed Bach Cantatas and Arias frequently with well-known soprano Arleen Augér. While in Buffalo, Hudson formed the Buffalo String Quartet which served residencies at Middlebury and Johnson State Colleges in Vermont during the 1975-1976 season. Hudson was an Assoc. Prof. of violin at Middlebury College during this time. From 1973 to 1975 Hudson was solo violinist with the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts in residence at the State University of New York in Buffalo, a well-known fellowship program for the intense study and performance of contemporary music. Hudson toured throughout Europe and recorded for Columbia Records with the group. He appeared frequently on their popular series, "Evenings for New Music" at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. He was Concertmaster of Drottningholm Court Theatre for nine seasons. During this time they recorded the complete Mozart Opera works for Decca Records under director Arnold Östman, with such singers as Arleen Augér, Barbara Bonney and Håkan Hagegård.

Since 1995, Benjamin Hudson has been concertmaster/director of the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester. He currently leads half of the season's concerts from the violin. He has led international tours to Japan, Korea, China and South America. Apart from the above mentioned ensembles, he has also appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Orchestra in Lincoln Center, New York Chamber Orchestra Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout his career, Benjamin Hudson has been very active in the performance of Baroque and classical music on period instruments. He has directed recordings including Baroque works by Biber, Arcangelo Corelli, Georg Frideric Handel, Avison/Scarlatti, Boccherini and Sammartini. He has also specialized in contemporary music. He has performed and recorded works by such composers as Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Morton Feldman, John Cage, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams. He has also recorded, on period instruments, the highly acclaimed version of Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with The Hanover Band (Nimbus Records). He is also leader and soloist in several other recordings with The Hanover Band, including the complete Bach Brandenburg Concerti (BWV 1046-1051) and the Haydn Symphonies. He also recorded the complete L.v. Beethoven Violin Sonatas with pianist, Mary Verney (Nimbus Records). He was also soloist with Clarion Chamber Orchestra in the popular Newport Classic recording, "Hidden Masterpieces of the Baroque" on original instruments, including works by Antonio Vivaldi, Scarletti, Biber, Boccherini, G.F. Handel, Albinoni, and Sammartini.

Benjamin Hudson has appeared many times as soloist and director with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester and has recorded the J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerti and the complete J.S. Bach Violin Concerti for Tacet Records with the group. As director and soloist, he has also recorded the J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) arranged for strings, the J.S. Bach Die Kunst der Fuge (BWV 1080) and the two Johannes Brahms Sextets arranged for strings for Good International Records. In May of 2002, Hudson recorded the Bach Six Sonatas for Violin and Continuo with well-known guitarist, Eliot Fisk and solo cellist of the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, György Bognar, for Good International Records. Benjamin Hudson is currently concertmaster and soloist in a project recording all Igor Stravinsky works for chamber orchestra for ECM Records with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester directed by Dennis Russell Davies.

Since 2005, Benjamin Hudson has been a frequent guest concertmaster with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester in Munich, SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln. In addition to his post as concertmaster of the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Hudson was recently appointed new first concertmaster of the Sinfonieorchester Basel in August of 2008.

Source: Benjamin Hudson Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2009)

Benjamin Hudson: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Benjamin Hudson (Official Website)


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