Benjamin Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and holds graduate degrees from Rice University, Indiana University, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, University of Southern California, and the Royal Academy of Music. Benjamin also graduated from the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.
Recognized by Musical America as one of the most innovative people in classical music, clarinetist Benjamin Mitchell is the founder and president of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. Originally from California and currently based in London, Benjamin maintains an active performing and teaching career while leading Kaleidoscope's artistic planning, fundraising, marketing, and other administrative needs. Benjamin’s work has also been praised by ABC News, KUSC Radio, Los Angeles Times, Performance Today, San Francisco Classical Voice, Symphony Magazine, and the Washington Post.
Benjamin has performed regularly at the Lucerne Festival for over a decade, working with composers including George Benjamin, Liza Lim, Matthias Pintscher, and Pierre Boulez. As a member of the Contemporary Leaders, Benjamin is a co-curator of the Forward Festival, performs in the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, and is on faculty at the Lucerne Festival Academy. Benjamin has also collaborated with other organizations including the Aspen Music Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble intercontemporain, Enso String Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Nash Ensemble, Riot Ensemble, and the Thy Kammermusik Festival.
As soloist and chamber musician, Benjamin has premiered numerous works in venues including Carnegie Hall, KKL Lucerne, Tonhalle Zürich, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Wigmore Hall. To provide new opportunities for composers, Benjamin organized Kaleidoscope’s call for scores, which received almost 8,000 applications from composers in 86 countries and created the world’s largest open access library of contemporary music in partnership with UCLA Library. Benjamin has also worked to expand the classical music repertoire with commissions from composers including Adam Schoenberg, Alyssa Weinberg, Andy Akiho, Anna Clyne, Augusta Read Thomas, Billy Childs, Chiayu Hsu, Christopher Cerrone, Danny Clay, David Hertzberg, Donald Crocket, Gabriella Smith, Hannah Lash, Julia Adolphe, Krists Auznieks, Libby Larsen, Melinda Wagner, Melissa Dunphy, Natalie Dietterich, Nina Shekhar, Pamela Z, Peter Shin, Stephen Hartke, Ted Hearne, Viet Cuong, and Will Healy.
Photo credit: Lucie Bigo - Henri SELMER Paris