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.

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

Explore Other Degrees

Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music History & Industry
Combining Musicology and the Music Industry minor for practical hands-on training with the study of music within the context of different societies, cultures, and theories
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music