Dr. Ben Grube recently earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance at the University of Houston, studying with Dr. Kirsten Yon. He simultaneously completed minor in viola performance, studying with Prof. Wayne Brooks, principle violist of the Houston Symphony. He was recently awarded a Master of Music degree in violin performance at Texas Tech University, also under the direction of Dr. Kirsten Yon. His Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance was earned at Furman University in Greenville, SC while studying with Dr. Thomas Joiner.
For many years, Ben has studied significantly with William Preucil, professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra. He also studied violin with Prof. Andrea Farolfi during his studies in Italy and viola with Dr. Danae Witter while studying in the Czech Republic. He has taken lessons and performed on masterclasses with many other international violinists and violist including Christos Galileas, Leoš Čepický, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Jeffery Multer, Ivan Štraus, and Jiří Žigmund.
Ben has served as guest concertmaster of the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra in Texas and has played with numerous other professional orchestras. Some additional orchestral positions include the Greenville Symphony, SC; Hendersonville Symphony, NC; Lubbock Symphony, The Symphony of Southeast Texas (principle second), and Big Spring Symphony, TX. He has also had the honor of serving as concertmaster for the symphonies of University of Houston, Texas Tech University, Furman University, and Eastern Music Festival. Ben studied at the Texas Music Festival, the International Music Academy, Plzen – Czech Republic, Brevard Music Center, and Eastern Music Festival, receiving generous merit scholarships. While performing with the faculty of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Ben played with soloist Yo-Yo Ma, concertmaster William Preucil, and conductor Keith Lockhart. An avid chamber player, Ben has had the opportunity to play with numerous honors and scholarship quartets as both a violinist and violist.
His international performances have included playing violin and viola on multiple recitals, concerts, masterclasses, and studio classes in Italy, Honduras, and the Czech Republic. In Honduras, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Tegucigalpa. As well, he presents chamber music recitals with music faculty of various universities each summer while teaching at the Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas summer festival in Honduras.
Teaching and Work Experience
Ben was previously employed at Texas Tech University as a chamber music coordinator and coach as part of his teaching assistantship. His work also included planning outreach concerts by organizing assorted chamber groups to perform in the community for groups and individuals with little or no prior access and exposure to the world of classical music. Performance venues included nursing homes, churches, community art exhibits, and even dormitories around the university.
While in Honduras he teaches private lessons and master classes to roughly 30 students with skill levels from beginners to members of the National Symphony Orchestra. Ben has been teaching privately for nearly ten years with students ranging from elementary school to the collegiate level. He has also coached numerous string sectionals and chamber groups, judged solo competitions and youth symphony auditions, and taught music theory.
Ben also teaches privately, maintaining a large studio of students, and holds a teaching position of undergraduate students within the studio of Dr. Kirsten Yon at the University of Houston. In addition to being on faculty at the Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas summer festival in Honduras since 2011, Ben has held a faculty position at the Furman University Orchestra Camp since 2012 where he teaches violin, viola, and music theory as well as serves as a chamber music ensemble clinician, solo competition judge, and sectional director.