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Ben Ellis programs recitals that explore all the unexpected corners of the guitar repertoire. Programing and pairing works from 18th to the 21st century, Ellis finds the surprising threads that connect contrasting works. His programs have included pairing transcriptions of violin music by Ysaye and Bach as well as the standard “When You Wish Upon A Star” arranged by Chet Atkins paired with an homage to Walt Disney by contemporary composer Darragh O’Neil. His performance credits include solo recitals for the Great Lakes Guitar Society, the Skaneateles Library Concert Series, and the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate NY.


Fascinated with reaching out to new audiences, Ellis also curates special programs that pair music with art, wine, dance, and historical events. Ben has presented these custom designed events at venues such as the The Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY, Shelter Studios in NYC, and the historic Barnes Mansion in Syracuse, NY. Most recently, Ellis presented arrangements of rock and roll songs for the classical guitar at The Principle Art Gallery in Charleston, SC. The musical selections highlighted the galleries exhibit of behind the scenes photos of notorious rock musicians. 


Ben is currently working on several chamber music projects including the LaLena-Ellis Guitar Duo and the New York Guitar Quartet. The NYGQ will soon be releasing a world premiere recording of a new work by composer John Anthony Lennon. Other projects include a collaboration with composer Chris Cresswell on a new composition with live electronics and looped samples. 


Ellis holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia. He currently resides in Syracuse, NY where he maintains a large teaching studio. An active freelancer, Ben has also performed with the Syracuse Symphony and the Syracuse Opera.


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