Benjamin Mitchell is the founder and president of Kaleidoscope, a conductorless chamber orchestra comprised of some of the leading musicians in Los Angeles. Additionally, he has appeared as a regular substitute with the Houston Symphony and was invited for multiple summers to the Aspen Music Festival and Lucerne Festival Academy. At Lucerne, Benjamin performed as principal clarinet under the direction of Pierre Boulez, with extensive coaching from members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Through his work with Kaleidoscope, Benjamin has received outstanding reviews from the LA Times, Huffington Post, and was recently honored by Musical America as one of the most innovative people in classical music. He has also developed community partnerships for many free performances at schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other underserved parts of Los Angeles.
A strong interest in contemporary music has led Benjamin to collaborate with many composers, often in works written for him. He helped organize an annual call for scores through Kaleidoscope which received almost 900 applications from over 30 countries, leading to 16 premieres in their third season. He has also worked closely with composers including Thomas Adès, George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez, Elliot Carter, Lukas Foss, Paul Moravec, Matthias Pintscher, Adam Schoenberg, and Gunther Schuller. As a chamber musician, Benjamin has performed with principal members from the Berliner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and at the Thy Kammermusik Festival in Denmark.
Benjamin is currently pursuing graduate studies at USC in their new Arts Leadership program. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at UCLA and also holds graduate degrees in clarinet from Rice University, Indiana University, and the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. Benjamin is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a graduate of the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles.