"talented young American organist Jacob Benda performs with confident rhythmic stability and polished technical assurance."
-American Record Guide
"Benda's depth of knowledge and impeccable technique in concert with his great sense of timing and colorful registrations provided an enthusiastic and prestigious audience a grand opening of the 2019-20 season for the chapter."
-Mary Lee Mistretta, Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Acclaimed for his virtuosity and imaginative programming, JACOB BENDA has been featured as a solo recitalist at universities, festivals and cathedrals throughout the United States. Highlights of the 2022 season included a solo engagement with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra where he played organ concertos by Poulenc and Rheinberger, the world premiere performance of Organ Concerto No. 2 by James Callahan under the baton of the composer, solo recitals at the University of Iowa and the University of Saint Thomas, and a solo performance at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
Recently appointed the University Chapel Music Director & Organist, and Adjunct Organ Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Benda is also a published author, editor, organ consultant and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund based in Los Angeles. In 2015, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University under the mentorship of Professor Herndon Spillman, protégé of Maurice Duruflé.
As a collaborative artist Dr. Benda has had the privilege to work with musicians throughout the country including the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Cornell University Glee Club, violinists Borislava Iltcheva and Allison Ostrander, classical guitarists Tanja Mirić and Darka Kooienga, Duo Miriç, and saxophonist Richard Dirlam.
Enthusiastic about new music, Dr. Benda has performed premieres by Pamela Decker, James Sclater, Gary Bachlund, James Callahan, and has championed the music of 20th century composer Clarence Mader. His landmark recording, Music at Midnight, A Tonal Palette, Organ Music by Clarence Mader, (Centaur Label, CRC 3361), was applauded by the American Record Guide as:
"an important picture of American organ art in the 20th century...talented young American organist Jacob Benda performs with confident rhythmic stability and polished technical assurance."
Highlights from past seasons include solo performances and lectures at Yale University, University of Arizona, University of North Texas, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, the 2014 AGO National Convention, the opening performance for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists 2019-20 season, Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana, St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi, Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, Washington, and others.
35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GABRIEL KNEY PIPE ORGAN RECITAL SERIES
May 6, 2023, 7:30 PM
Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas, University of Saint Thomas
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Jacob Benda plays organ concertos by Francis Poulenc and Josef Rheinberger
with the University of Saint Thomas Orchestra, conducted by Matthew George