Tuesday, July 4 at 7:00 pm
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
Acclaimed for his virtuosity and imaginative programming, Jacob Benda has been featured as a solo recitalist at universities, festivals and cathedrals throughout the United States. Recent performance highlights include a solo engagement with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra playing organ concerti by Poulenc and Rheinberger, the world premiere performance of Organ Concerto No. 2 by James Callahan at the University of St. Thomas, and solo recitals at the University of Iowa and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Upcoming engagements include solo recitals in Poland, St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral in La Crosse, WI, and a U.S. tour with The Quatuor International de Saxophones.
Appointed the Director of Music and Organist at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of St. Thomas in 2022, Dr. Benda also serves as the Director of the Chapel Arts Series and Adjunct Professor of Organ. A published author, editor, and organ consultant, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund based in Los Angeles. In 2015, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University under the mentorship of Professor Herndon Spillman, protégé of Maurice Duruflé.
As a collaborative artist Dr. Benda has had the privilege to work with musicians throughout the country including the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Cornell University Glee Club, the Basilica of St. Mary Cathedral Choir, violinists Borislava Iltcheva and Allison Ostrander, classical guitarists Tanja Mirić and Darka Kooienga, and saxophonist Richard Dirlam.
Enthusiastic about new music, Dr. Benda has performed premieres by Pamela Decker, James Sclater, Gary Bachlund, James Callahan, and has championed the music of 20th century composer Clarence Mader. His landmark recording, Music at Midnight, A Tonal Palette, Organ Music by Clarence Mader, (Centaur Label, CRC 3361), was applauded by the American Record Guide as:
"an important picture of American organ art in the 20th century...talented young American organist Jacob Benda performs with confident rhythmic stability and polished technical assurance."
Highlights from past seasons include solo performances and lectures at Yale University, University of Arizona, University of North Texas, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, the 2014 AGO National Convention, the opening performance for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists 2019-20 season, Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana, St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi, Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, Washington, and others.
Jacob Benda is represented by Seven Eight Artists