Benjamin Rous, Music Director

2017 – present

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Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous was hired as Associate Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among audiences throughout southeastern Virginia.  Promoted to Resident Conductor in 2013, he took on an expanded role on the VSO’s calendar, where he performs annually on every series including Classics, Regional Classics, Pops and the VSO@Roper series.  In the summers he pursues his love of education, serving as faculty conductor at Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Recent guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, 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, 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 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 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.  He received further guidance in festivals and masterclasses from David Zinman, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop and Lorin Maazel.

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