Benjamin Phelps
Lecturer, Composition

Called “feisty” and “impressive” by the LA Times, Ben Phelps lives in Los Angeles, where he is a percussionist, composer and amateur urban planning enthusiast.

He is director of What’s Next?, a leading post-classical new music event and performance collective in Southern California, and has performed and collaborated extensively with many other local chamber music groups, including the Definiens Project, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, WildUp, and the pioneering multimedia based theater company Rogue Artists Ensemble. In 2009, in conjunction with What’s Next?, he founded the Los Angeles Composers Project, the most comprehensive survey of local music from composers of all stages of their careers in Southern California. His new project, The B Band, is an eclectic “classical band” created for performance in both clubs and the concert hall. Commercially, he has toured the world as an assistant conductor for Lord of the Rings Live, presenting the entire score, performed live by an orchestra to the films.

His music has been performed by the likes of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Argus String Quartet, pianist Vicki Ray, the Bass Clarinet Duo Sqwonk, and by percussion ensembles across the country, including The Los Angeles  Percussion Quartet and Talujon Percussion Group, and many more.

Phelps is also an accomplished percussionist. He has had the pleasure of working with such luminary living composers as Steve Reich, Thomas Adès, Michael Gordon, and John Adams. Steve Reich called his performance of Nagoya Marimbas at a concert honoring Reich’s 70th birthday “the best I’ve ever seen- and I don’t say that,” and the Huffington Post has called him “a magician of the marimba.” He can be heard performing frequently with Orchestras in the Southern California area as well on locally recorded film and television soundtracks.

His work with the pioneering theater company Rogue Artists Ensemble has been called “enchanting” by the LAWeekly and “sonically brilliant” by the OCWeekly.

Phelps holds a BA and MA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a DMA in music composition at University of Southern California.

Mark Kligman
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Antonio Lysy
Professor - Cello Performance and Strings Area Head
Inna Faliks
Professor - Piano Performance and Keyboard Area Head
Peter Kazaras
Professor - Director of Opera UCLA
Arturo O’Farrill
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Professor
Maria Fortuna Dean
Lecturer - Voice Performance
Frank Heuser
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Chris Hanulik
Adjunct Professor - String Bass Performance; Principal Bass LA Phil
Jens Lindemann
Professor - Trumpet Performance and Brass Area Head
Varty Manouelian
Lecturer - Violin Performance; Violin LA Phil
William Kinderman
Professor -- Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies
Vladimir Chernov
Professor - Voice Performance
Ji Young An
Lecturer - Violin Performance
Wayne Shorter
Adjunct Professor; Star-Studded Tribute LA Phil (April 2020)
Daniel Szabo
Adjunct Associate Professor
Erin Bouriakov
Lecturer - Flute Performance
Iris Malkin
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Denis Bouriakov
Lecturer - Flute Performance; Principal Flute LA Phil
Gregory Goodall
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Sumner Arano
Lecturer - Reed Making, Bassoon
Gloria Cheng
Adjunct Professor - Contemporary Music, Performance Studies
Amy Sanchez
Lecturer - Horn Performance
Herbie Hancock
Adjunct Professor; LA Phil Guest Artist
Boris Allakhverdyan
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance; Principal Clarinet LA Phil
Lou Anne Neill
Lecturer - Harp Performance; Harp LA Phil
Wendy Caldwell
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Christoph Bull
Adjunct Professor - Organ Performance
Kevin McKeown
Adjunct Assistant Professor
James Newton
Distinguished Professor
Theresa Dimond
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Jan N. Baker
Associate Professor of Saxophone
Jonathan Davis
Lecturer - Oboe Performance
Rakefet Hak
Lecturer - Music Director of the UCLA Opera Workshop
Movses Pogossian
Professor, Director of Armenian Music Program
Joshua Ranz
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance
Gordon Henderson
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Michael Dean
Professor, Voice Performance
Juliana Gondek
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Distinguished Professor, Voice Performance
Che-Yen Chen
Professor - Viola Performance
Kenny Burrell
Distinguished Professor
Jocelyn Ho
Assistant Professor - Performance Studies
Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor
John Steinmetz
Lecturer - Bassoon Performance
James Bass
Professor - Director of Choral Studies
Katherine Syer
Adjunct Associate Professor
James Miller
Lecturer - Trombone Performance; Associate Principal Trombone LA Phil
Aubrey Foard
Lecturer - Tuba Performance
Victoria Kirsch
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
David Kaplan
Assistant Professor - Piano Performance
Paul Floyd
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Terence Blanchard
Professor and Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies; LA Phil Guest Artist
Travis J. Cross
Chair of Music; Professor
Peter Yates
Adjunct Professor - Guitar Performance

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