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Ben Hjertmann Headshot

Ben Hjertmann

I am a composer and vocalist based in Asheville, NC.  I compose notated music for ensembles, and I write/perform with the Grant Wallace Band and Kong Must Dead.  Prior to this, I composed, performed, and directed experimental music (voice/guitar/bağlama) with the Sissy-Eared Mollycoddles.  


I cut my teeth in the Chicago new music community 2007-2014 and remain a long-distance admirer and friend of that community.

© Jamille Wallick

I have had the privilege to collaborate with adventurous chamber ensembles including PRISM Quartet, Axiom Brass, Zzyzx Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Friction Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Borromeo Quartet, Anubis Quartet, Callithumpian Consort, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and many others.  Along with Grant Wallace Band I wrote and performed a dramatic song cycle with the Houston Grand Opera in 2016.  My large ensemble works has been performed by Northwestern, UT-Austin, Louisiana State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Kansas State, Lawrence, U-Nebraska at Lincoln, NYU, and Texas Tech. 

My music has been featured at Resonant Bodies Festival, Fast Forward Austin, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics, the conference of the College Band Directors National Association, and the South by Southwest NonClassical showcase.  I was a resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, 360 XOCHI QUETZAL, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Shell Lake Arts Center.  I was a Fellow at the 2013 Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute, and at the 2011 Other Minds Festival.  I've been honored to have received awards including the 2015 Barlow Prize, the 2014 Third Coast Percussion Emerging Composers Partnership, a 2014 Project Grant from New Music USA, and first prize (Grade VI) in the 2013 Frank Ticheli Composition Contest.

I received my Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University in 2013.  My dissertation research was on microtonal harmonic structures derived from sum & difference tones. Prior to that I earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2007. I previously taught music technology, composition, theory, aural skills, and song writing at Northwestern University as well as theory and composition for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.  I served as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Composition at Appalachian State University from 2014-2018. Since 2018, I have transitioned from university professor to private teacher.  I work with students locally in-person, as well as across the US and other countries via online lessons in composition, songwriting, microtonality, Just Intonation, and electronic music.  Visit my Lessons page for more information.


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