Long respected as a leading representative of classical singers, Ken Benson is returning to Artists Management to guide and develop the careers of exceptional young talent.
For 25 years, he headed his own Division as Vice-President at Columbia Artists Management, Inc.. There, he developed and built the careers of some of the leading singers and stage directors of the time. While there, he earned the trust and respect of his colleagues in opera companies, symphony orchestras, recital series and festivals throughout the US and internationally.
Known for his deep knowledge of singing and vocal repertoire, his philosophy is to carefully help each artist grow at their own individual pace, always with an eye on vocal health and long-term career development. He believes the artist/ manager relationship is built on trust and communication. Working with a very select group of artists will ensure the mentoring and attention each one deserves.
Ken Benson regularly gives classes and consultations at leading music conservatories and Young Artists Programs across the country, and he is in great demand as an adjudicator of many leading vocal competitions. In the 2014-15 season, Ken will serve as Career Consultant with Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program. He frequently acts as lecturer, interviewer and writer on the subject of opera. A long time regular panelist and host of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, he has also interviewed opera icons such as Stephanie Blythe and Jonas Kaufmann, and given lectures on Wagner’s Ring Cycle on the stage of the Met.
He is also available for private career consultations, masterclasses, workshops, and lectures. For inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have known Ken Benson for thirty years, both professionally and personally. He has worked closely with many major artists, guiding their professional careers as a manager. Ken is extremely knowledgeable about the field of opera, the individual voice, managing the career of singers worldwide and has worked closesly with many opera houses around the world. He has been a great collaborative collegue during my tenure at the San Francisco Opera and at the Metropolitan Opera. Ken has participated in many lively episodes of the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts Opera Quiz and given many classes at music schools around the country. He has a very broad, and at the same time, detailed knowledge of the opera business, a passion for the art form which would greatly benefit young singers and opera companies alike.
Ken Benson and I knew each other on and off for over twenty years and I sought his counsel at almost every turn… and he always had humanity, insight and progressive thought behind every suggestion. Then we worked together, and I came to know him, as not only a great gentleman but also far more knowledgeable and authentic than I could have ever imagined. He has the respect and cooperation of everyone in the business and I am lucky to have had, and have him, in my life and career.
Ken Benson has been an acknowledged expert in the field for more than three decades. He is an outstanding colleague who is generous with his tremendous knowledge of the repertoire, singers and the business of opera.
Dear Ken, Your highly informative master class you conduct each year for young artists with the Martina Arroyo Foundation is an essential part of our Prelude to Performance professional development program. After forty years of opera performances, I know that you are certainly one of the best artists’ managers in the United States (and probably, Europe, too!). To be willing to share your wealth of knowledge and counsel to help our young singers is unique and greatly appreciated by all. At the end of each Prelude season our participants complete a survey to help us evaluate the program - your master class always earns the highest ratings along with words of appreciation. Looking forward to many, many more seasons of working with you. Love, Martina
It has always been a great pleasure to work with Ken Benson, who combines a deep knowledge of singers with the skills of a seasoned manager. He is fair in his dealings, efficient in communicating, and always generous towards colleagues. He is realistic when describing and promoting the talents of young artists, and wise in guiding repertoire choices. Ken is someone with whom I’ve always enjoyed collaborating.
A “Dream Team” for the Metropolitan Opera radio quiz panel would include Ken Benson. His depth of opera knowledge is unsurpassed—AND he’s warm, charming and urbane. If I were a singer I would want Ken Benson to advise me on my career. He’s navigated the frighteningly tricky tides of professional music with great grace and experience, he’s known the personnel in that world for years; I’d lock him up and keep him all to myself! Considering his contributions over the years, Ken Benson is one of the bricks that every great opera house in the world was built with…. And I mean every word.
I have had the pleasure of working with Ken Benson for almost 30 years. In my 21 years at Columbia Artists, I relied on Ken to give me appropriate and intelligent advice about singers, both on the CAMI roster and those handled by other managements. Since I left CAMI in 1999, I have used Ken even more for the same honest and knowledgeable advice that he has always given to me. I think that there is no one better for offering advice on casting or to be a coach, as well as lecture on the subject he truly loves.
Ken Benson represents everything that is good in opera. His knowledge is vast and varied. His attitude toward artists is empathetic while it is level headed and knowing. His integrity is known to all, and his fairness a model in a business that can be tough. Ken also has a sense of humor about the art form he loves, and terrific stories of opera lore. His passion, after years in the audience, both as a fan and as a professional, is undiminished. And even as a professional, he remains a fan. Opera needs more Ken Bensons, but there’s only one unique one to go around!
In over twenty years of collaboration (from both sides of the Atlantic), the fundamental level on which one deals with Ken is based on his immense knowledge of opera in all senses: the art form; the rep; the singers of yesteryear; the current fads and favorites, as well as an enquiring mind and perceptive ear to the talent of the future. Add to this, that he is a colleague with whom one WANTS to spend time, and you begin to have a picture of a true professional within the field.
Ken Benson is one of the most knowledgeable people in the music world. He has an in depth understanding of singers and repertoire and the business of the arts and opera. In my many years working with Ken I’ve known him to be a person of tremendous integrity and common sense, which is very rare in this world.
I have always found Ken Benson one of the most honest and truly savvy men in the business of singer’s management. I think his insight into this world can help singers at every level. He is one of the few who truly cares.
Ken Benson is one of those rare people who lives his art by working it. His history with classical singing is consummate, impeccable and influential. His work at the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute has consistently been the highest rated sessions for six years. His knowledge is expansive, as is his ability to impart artistic and business priorities to anyone at any stage of their career. Ken’s attention to detail, the big picture and a performer’s uniqueness are rare attributes in the classical singing industry. I give him the highest regard in a very challenging business.
Ken Benson has been on the board of the George London Foundation for many years and I have always deeply valued his advice and suggestions. I think that he is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the opera world of today.
My relationship with Ken Benson goes back to the early stages of our careers; mine as a singer and his as a manager. Over the years I have come to trust Ken’s knowledge of voices and appropriate repertoire for those voices. He has always been honest in his evaluation of any of the singers I have brought to him for career consultations. Young professionals get a great dose of truth and insight done up in integreity, genuine caring, and candor. Ken’s decades of expertise make the perfect combination needed in today’s world in helping to find and develop young artists for our future.
Ken Benson’s extensive knowledge of the repertoire and of voices, combined with his experience and expertise, make him an ideal resource as a casting consultant or competition juror, a lecturer or writer. I have enjoyed working with Ken over the years, and always appreciated his thoughts and recommendations.