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Benjamin Fleischacker

Class of 2017-2018

About Benjamin

(updated 6/2018) Since arriving in China, Benji has translated for the Danish delegation of the Music Confucius Institute and performed in a master class for the cellists Morten Zeuthen and David Finckel; studied  matouqin  (a bowed Mongolian instrument with a horse-head scroll); attended three concerts and performed at a fourth in one night; performed a concert in the rural town of Ping Le after climbing a waterfall and almost falling to his death; performed electric cello for over 1,000 high school students at a video-game release gala; and eaten countless hawthorn candy canes.  At the Central Conservatory of Music in China, Benji collaborated with Dai Bo, an acclaimed composer and Ph.D. candidate there. Outside of CCOM, he taught music theory, composition, and cello at the Leapp Music School, studied cello with Zhu Yi Bing, and performed throughout Beijing. His written and reading Chinese vocabulary now includes over 2,000 characters.
Benji graduated from Yale in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History with Distinction. His senior thesis on Costa Rican music education won the Max Bildner Award for Latin American History.  That thesis was based on two months of interviews, participant observation, and archival work in Costa Rica.  At Yale, Benji was awarded the Paul Fry Award for contributing to the artistic life of Ezra Stiles and Yale College. He was the principal cellist of the Yale Symphony Orchestra for its 2015-2016 season, an avid chamber musician, and the business manager and a member of the all-cello rock band Low Strung, for which he arranged covers of popular music from Beyonce and Adele to Queen and Aretha Franklin.  He spearheaded and recorded the group’s most recent CD, slated to be published in 2018, which includes seven of his original arrangements.  In March 2017, he commissioned and premiered a suite of seven pieces written by seven composers at Yale College and the Yale School of Music for two cellos based on the Bach cello suites.  In 2015, he performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Saybrook College Orchestra after winning their concerto competition.  Before college, Benji spent a year teaching cello at a local music school in Costa Rica, where he developed both a love of teaching and a recognition of the many musical traditions that children bring to the classroom.  He hopes to combine his experiences in Latin America and in China to bring a global perspective to the challenge classical music poses to local traditions, and the opportunities communities have to expand their culture through music education and performance.

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