Benjamin Baker, violinist
Benjamin Baker, a New Zealand native, has moved audiences around the world with his musicianship. His playing has been described as having “expressive colour” and “sonorous presence” (Beethoven Society of Europe).
After winning First Prize and additional performances prizes at the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Benjamin Baker claimed third prize at the 2017 Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
This season marks his first tour in the United States with debut recitals on the 2017-2018 Young Concert Artists Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.
Mr. Baker establishes his US presence with performances on the Evnin Rising Stars program at Caramoor, which features outstanding young instrumentalists. His 2017-2018 tour continues with recitals at the Port Washington Library, Haydn’s Ferry Chamber Music Series, Jewish Community Alliance and at the Levine School of Music, where he will also give master classes. Benjamin Baker frequently partners with YCA pianist Daniel Lebhardt, with whom he also tours South America this season. Other engagements abroad include concerts in the UK, China and in Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as well as concerto performances with The Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, and the Salomon Orchestra.
In 2016, Mr. Baker was a Fellow at the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. In 2015, he made his first CD for Champs Hill Records, which includes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 2 in A major, Kreisler’s Three Old Viennese Dances, and Strauss’ Sonata in E flat, Op. 18. The CD was featured on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, as well as reaching #22 on the charts in the week of release. He won representation with London’s Young Classical Artists Trust in 2013 and First Prize at the Windsor Festival International String Competition.
Mr. Baker has appeared as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Salisbury Festival, the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead, Wales’ Sinfonia Cymru, the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese L’Aquila in Italy, the Maui Pops Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia. He has taken part in festivals across Europe and the United Kingdom as well.
By popular demand, Benjamin has returned to New Zealand to play concerts and appear on radio and TV. For his devotion to charities for children, Mr. Baker is grateful to be an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson.
Currently a resident of London, Benjamin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal College of Music with Natasha Boyarsky and Felix Andrievsky, the latter at which he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl graduation prize. Benjamin plays on a Tononi violin (1709) on generous loan.