Benjamin Broening’s music couples his interest in the expressive power of sound with a sense of line derived from his background as a singer. His orchestral, choral, chamber and electroacoustic music has been performed in over 20 countries and across the United States by many ensembles, including Grammy-winners eighth blackbird, Da Capo Chamber Players, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Charlotte Symphony and Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, , Zeitgeist, Network for New Music and others. He has also worked closely with numerous leading figures in the contemporary music world, including Timothy McAllister, Camilla Hoitenga, Richard Hawkins, Tim Munro, Arthur Campbell, Nicholas Photinos, Curtis Macomber, Lina Bahn and Daniel Koppelman.
Trembling Air, a 2012 Bridge Records release of his chamber music recorded by eighth blackbird, has been praised as “haunting” and “enchanting” (Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer), “magical” (Fanfare),“other-worldly” (Gramophone), and “coruscatingly gorgeous” (CD Hotlist).
Critics have described Recombinant Nocturnes, his 2011 disc of music for piano recorded by duo runedako, as “a breathtaking suite for pianos” (World Music Report) "deep, troubling” (François Couture) and “lovely, delicate, calming” (Los Angeles’ KFJC).New Music Box wrote:
Recombinant Nocturnes is a gorgeous disc of music…It is adventurous…thoughtful, eloquent, and disarmingly direct….It’s one of the most persuasive accounts of a contemporary composer engaging a tried-and-true form—the piano nocturne—with both an individual imagination and just the right amount of affectionate familiarity.
Other recordings have been released by Ensemble Ü in Estonia, and on the Centaur, Everglade, Equilibrium, MIT Press, Oberlin Music, Open G and SEAMUS record labels. His Arioso/Doubles and Nocturne/Doubles have each been recorded four times, while Arioso and Changing Light have each been recorded multiple times. Writing about the recent recording of his Clarinet Concerto, Sequenza21 praised its “many thrilling passages” and said “it is, as is most of his music, from a formal vantage point exquisitely well sculpted."
New works commissioned by the Arctic Philharmonic (Bodø, Norway), Ensemble Ü (Tallinn, Estonia) and soloists in Florida and North Carolina will be premiered in the coming year. Mr. Broening is at work on his third solo CD, entitled What the Light Was Like ,which will focus on works for large ensemble.
Broening is founder and artistic director of Third Practice, an annual festival of electroacoustic music at the University of Richmond, where he is Professor of Music. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Cambridge University, Yale University and Wesleyan University, and has studied with William Albright, William Bolcolm, Andrew Mead, Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick and Neely Bruce.