Benjamin Rous, Music Director

2017 – present


Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous was named Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony in the spring of 2017, and simultaneously joined the University of Virginia faculty as Associate Professor of Music.  In 2018, he concluded an eight-year tenure as Resident Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra where he conducted a broad range of Classics, Pops and ballet performances, and created the new multimedia VSO@Roper series.

Notable guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Long Beach Symphony and the Charleston Symphony.   In the summers, he serves as faculty conductor at Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

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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