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Benjamin Shute

Benjamin Shute

Benjamin Shute...played the Sibelius [concerto] with marvelous aplomb and gave...this composition his very own unique interpretation—formidable.

Badische Zeitung

Benjamin is one of the most musically intelligent students that has studied with me in recent years. He possesses a great knowledge of the score of each studied work like few other musicians.

Rainer Kussmaul (first concertmaster, Berliner Philharmoniker/Berliner Barock Solisten)

Early Music

Instrumentation

  • Benjamin Shute - period violins

Repertoire

Repertoire is flexible and fees negotiable.

Sample unaccompanied recital programmes on period violins:

A). Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin

B). 'Historical Fantasy'

Fife and a' the lands about it . . . . Oswald

Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565 . . . . attrib. J. S. Bach, trans. Shute

Sinfonia and Stretto Fugue, after BWV 1045 and 29/232 . . . . Bach, trans. Shute

Romanze in F major, Op. 118 no. 5 . . . . Brahms

Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, Op. 6 . . . . Kreisler

A Fife Pilgrim Triptych . . . . Shute

I. Adoramus

II. Lullabye

III. La petite grande danse

Biography

Benjamin Shute is a multidisciplinary, historically informed musical artist whose solo violin recitals have delighted audiences around Scotland as they explore of the intersection of the historical practices of performance, composition, transcription, improvisation, and instrument-making against their broader cultural backdrops. He enjoys incorporating distinctly Scottish elements into the broader ‘classical’ context, such as performing on a never-modernised Joseph Ruddiman violin (Aberdeen, 1775) and featuring both traditional Scottish melodies as well as original compositions in his programmes. With a substantial repertoire to draw from, he is happy to tailor programmes to the interests of particular presenters and communities.

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, USA, Ben studied at the Settlement Music School (Philadelphia), the German state conservatoires of Freiburg and Frankfurt, and the New England Conservatory (BMus, DMA), where his mentors included Rainer Kussmaul, Masuko Ushioda, Lucy Chapman, and Bernhard Forck. He has appeared in North America, Europe, and Asia as soloist in concertos from the 17th to 20th centuries, recitalist, chamber musician, and leader of numerous ensembles including the Boston Chamber Orchestra. Directing from the solo violin, he has appeared with orchestras including the Oklahoma Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Heisenberg Ensemble (St Andrews). CDs include the complete sonatas of Brahms, the premiere recording of the sonatas of Karén Khanangov, and the acclaimed album In Sara Levy’s Salon with the Raritan Players. Other outputs include the books Sei Solo: Symbolum? The Theology of J. S. Bach’s Solo Violin Works (Pickwick, 2016) and The Harmonic Violinist (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); reconstructions of lost and incompletely surviving works of J. S. Bach; other scholarly editions for presses in the USA and UK; and content for forums including The Strad and Tonebase Violin. Having previously held professorships in various American states, as well as summer teaching posts at festivals globally, he is currently an associate teacher at the University of St Andrews, where he has taught and tutored in the areas of violin, chamber music, and composition.

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