Benjamin Rous is the new Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia. He will also join the UVA faculty as Associate Professor of Music. Rous follows Kate Tamarkin who retires this month.
Rous, one of three finalists for the position, is currently Resident Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra where he leads Classics, Regional Classics, Pops and Young People’s Concerts as well as state tours. He also serves as faculty conductor at Greenwood Music Camp in western Massachusetts during the summer months.
Recent guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Long Beach Symphony, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Symphony. Highlights of past seasons include performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and on St. Louis’s Pulitzer Concerts with musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Rous was featured in the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony, and in the summer of 2014 he was called upon by the Grant Park Music Festival to fill in for a delayed conductor on less than 24 hours’ notice.
An accomplished instrumentalist, Rous has concertized extensively on violin, viola and keyboard instruments. He has served as guest Principal 2nd Violin with Mahler Chamber Orchestra with whom he performed under the batons of Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding, including European tours and a teaching residency with El Sistema students in Caracas. He was a regular member of the Boston-area Arcturus Chamber Ensemble for a decade, and has led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra from the harpsichord in baroque repertoire.
Benjamin Rous studied music at Harvard with an emphasis on composition, graduating with highest honors. His works have been performed by diverse ensembles including the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwood Orchestra and the Fromm Players. During his college years he served as Music Director of Harvard Bach Society Orchestra and of Lowell House Opera; studied performance practice with Robert Levin; and performed on baroque violin with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra as section leader and soloist. He went on to earn the Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where he also studied harpsichord and pursued his interest in dance.
“I am honored to be joining the Charlottesville Symphony as its next Music Director. It is a jewel of an orchestra with a top-quality artistic tradition and a wonderful relationship with its community. I look forward to building on Kate Tamarkin’s legacy, while experimenting with new ways the orchestra can be a source of meaning, inspiration and joy.”
The Charlottesville Symphony’s 2017-18 season with Ben Rous on the podium opens on September 23 and 24.