Benjamin Nisbet maintains a diverse performance schedule as a violinist. He holds a B.M. from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Marilyn McDonald and most recently began his Masters of Music at the University of Arizona, where he is Concertmaster of University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra. He has been a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 2006. He is a founding member and musical director of Artifact Dance Project, a newly established dance company in the Tucson Community. Ben serves as Concertmaster of the Bella Carita Chamber Orchestra as well as Principal Second Violin of Tucson Chamber Artists. He was Second Violin of the Sonora String Quartet, a group hailed as "Best New Classical Artist" by Tucson Weekly in 2006. He currently performs as a founding member of the Kingfisher String Quartet (established in 2008), a group that has performed extensively throughout Southern Arizona. During the summer, he performs with the St. Andrew's Bach Society and serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the organization.
Ben remains active in music education in the Tucson Community by teaching privately as well as in public schools such as Tucson High School. He coaches the local youth orchestra, Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra and has been a faculty member for the past six years of Chamber Music in the Mountains, hosted by Tucson Junior Strings. As of 2009, Mr. Nisbet plays on a violin crafted in 2007 by Zoran Stilin.
What music is on your iPod?
Mastodon - The Hunter
Slayer - Reign in Blood
Tokyo String Quartet - Brahms String Quartets op. 51
Hagen Quartet - Complete Mozart String Quartets
What was your first musical experience as performer or audience member?
Playing in my big brother Josh's elementary school orchestra, age 4.
Why did you choose your instrument?
I was 2, and my big brother (6 1/2 years older) played the violin, and big brothers are cool.
What is your favorite music to perform? Genre or specific piece
I love performing big symphonic works of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Mahler and Dvorak. I really love playing string quartets of any kind. I also like the challenge of contemporary stuff, if the music is of any quality, and of course, Bach.
I would say that I am every bit as serious about cooking as I am about music. I watch a lot of Sports. I enjoy being generally social and hanging out with my wife Ashley.
Where did you go to school?
I went to the Oberlin Conservatory, and I am also getting a graduate degree from the University of Arizona.
What are your favorite places in Tucson?
The bar at Kingfisher Restaurant, Le Rendez-Vous restaurant, Mt. Lemmon, Gate's Pass, Wildcat Stadium, The McKale Center, 1702.
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