Benjamin Smolen has performed across the globe, from the United States to Europe, Russia, and Japan. He joined the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in 2011, where he holds the Valerie and Hans Imhof Principal Flute Chair. He has also performed as guest principal flute with orchestras around the country, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Pasadena Symphony. He has given solo performances with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra, Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, and twice on National Public Radio’s From the Top with pianist Christopher O’Riley.
In addition to his work on stage, Benjamin is active in the Hollywood scoring industry and has recorded with many esteemed film composers including John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, and Randy Newman. He can be heard on projects such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Big Friendly Giant, Mozart in the Jungle, Monsters University, Planes, Night at the Museum, and on Neil Young’s latest album, Storytone.
As a solo artist, Benjamin has given recitals around the world, including performances as a featured guest at the Japan Flute Festival and the National Flute Association’s annual convention. He 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 and National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. His flute and guitar ensemble Duo Musagete, with guitarist Jerome Mouffe, has performed highly acclaimed concerts in the United States and Europe, and they recently released their debut album, Bach to Beaser.
Benjamin completed his studies at Princeton University, the Moscow Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Paula Robison, Michael Parloff, Jayn Rosenfeld, and Aleksandr Golyshev. He pursued additional studies at the University of Michigan with Amy Porter and twice as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center with Elizabeth Rowe.
Benjamin is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade, custom-crafted Haynes 14-karat gold flute.