Philadelphia-based musicologist and composer Ben Safran’s research, which they have presented at national and regional conferences across the country, includes interdisciplinary approaches to studying music and social justice, protest music, identity studies, hermeneutics, pedagogy, media studies, and ecomusicology. Ben’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States, including by Network for New Music, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, Calliope, Temple Composers' Orchestra, Temple University New Music Ensemble, and by titled members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ben has been commissioned by world-championship ice skater Brooke Frieling, Philadelphia's Kaleid Theater, and Boston's Commonwealth School, and is a winner of the 2017 Dolce Suono Ensemble Steven Stucky Young Composers Award and the 2018 Richard Duris Award for excellence in classical music. A native of Massachusetts, Ben completed a Ph.D. in music studies from Temple University in May 2019, where their dissertation was on contemporary classical composers' uses of social justice and political themes in their concert music.
By this Author
Orchestra 2001 and Esperanza present ‘¡Conexiones!’
Celebrating Mexican music
Even among contemporary classical groups, music by Latinx composers is rarely heard in our region. Orchestra 2001 partnered with North Philly’s Esperanza for a program spotlighting Mexican artists. Ben Safran reviews.
Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Valletta 2018 Tour
Big event, small audience
The Malta Philharmonic presented an ambitious program for its first U.S. tour, but with more support from its own government than from Philadelphia audiences or the Kimmel Center. Benjamin Safran reviews.
Opera Philadelphia presents Opera on the Mall's 'We Shall Not Be Moved'
Safety in numbers
In the context of Opera on the Mall, 'We Shall Not Be Moved' is still a beautiful work. Yet its attempt at evenhandedness and lack of action prevent it from succeeding. Ben Safran reviews.
On violating the "sanctity of the concert hall"
When protesters disrupted the Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of 'Tosca,' some thought they went too far; others thought they did just the right thing in just the right place. Benjamin Safran considers.
Bowerbird presents 'Sound Machines,' featuring Mauricio Kagel's 'Zwei Mann Orchester'
More than spectacle
Bowerbird presents 'Sound Machines,' an impressive and playful U.S. premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s 'Zwei Mann Orchester.' Benjamin Safran reviews.
Kids, caregivers, and the concert hall
Rethinking audience noise
Many of our cultural institutions offer "kid-friendly" performances, but how friendly are they? Benjamin Safran considers.