Benjamin Jaber has been Principal Horn of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since May 2008. He has also performed as Guest Principal Horn with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the IRIS Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic and as an extra player with the Houston, Richmond and New World Symphonies and the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. He has also appeared as a guest artist on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella new music series.
As a soloist, Mr. Jaber received First Prize in the university division of the 2003 American Horn Competition and was the winner of the Aspen Music Festival's 2004 brass concerto competition. He was also a featured artist at the first-ever Conservatory Project series held at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has spent summers at the Aspen Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, the Pacific Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Spring, CO, and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also toured with the Musicians from Marlboro series. He remains active as a recording artist in the motion picture studios of Los Angeles, adding many different projects to his credit. As a teacher, Mr. Jaber has served on the faculties of the University of California San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles and also maintains a private studio from home.
Mr. Jaber studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and The Colburn Conservatory where he was the first horn player ever to be graduated from the school. His teachers were William Ver Meulen, John Zirbel, David Jolley and Bruce Henniss. He performs on a horn by S.W. Lewis of Chicago.
GETTING TO KNOW BENJAMIN JABER…
Q: How did you choose your instrument?
A: I first met my horn teacher when I was ten, and hearing him play made me want to start.
Q: What are some favorite composers and musical periods?
A: In my other life, I play traditional Irish music, so that’s on my mind a lot.
Q: What do you love most about San Diego (besides the weather)?
A: I love just how physically beautiful it is here everywhere you go.
Q: What is your choice for dining in San Diego?
A: Saguaro’s La Fachada, or any other quality cheap Mexican!
Q: What is your favorite San Diego Symphony Orchestra memory?
A: Winning the audition and playing my first season here.
Q: The San Diego Symphony Orchestra is essential to San Diego because…?
A: This city more than any other in this country deserves to have one of the great orchestras of the world!
Fun Fact: In his other life, Ben Jaber is also an accomplished performer of traditional Irish music and is completely self-taught on the Irish wooden flute, tin whistle and uilleann pipes. He has been active as a session player in Houston, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans and Los Angeles. Mr. Jaber has been fortunate to get to play music with some of Irish music's biggest names along the way, including Paddy Keenan, Kevin Crawford, Mick Moloney, Isaac Alderson, Zac Leger, Eric Rigler, Eileen Ivers and most recently onstage with The Chieftains. Other major influences include Ronan Browne, Robbie Hannan, Matt Molloy, Michael McGoldrick, John McSherry and older masters such as Seamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Sean McKiernan, Tommy Reck and Liam O'Flynn. He plays a wooden flute by Chris Wilkes and uilleann pipes by Kirk Lynch of Missouri and Joe Kennedy of Canada.