Pianist, accompanist, arranger, composer
Pianist Barbara Benn has been making music her whole life. A Minnesota native, she holds BFA and DMA degrees from the University of Minnesota. She also completed her Master's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Barbara began playing for ballet and movement classes as a teenager. She often wrote and arranged her own pieces, but it wasn't until she took a yoga class herself that she realized her music would be a perfect accompaniment for the gentle, flowing movements and meditative breathing of yoga. Her friend and teacher, Joanne Gordon, encouraged her to record a set of her original music to use in her classes. The result was Barbara's first CD, Lighter Than Air, which was released in 2011. She has since released two other albums, Balancing Act (2012) and Moon Road (2015). Barbara has also had the joyful experience of collaborating on several pieces with her cellist daughter, Sophie Benn.
Besides composition and recording, Barbara has worked as an active board member, teacher, adjudicator, soloist, accompanist and coach. She has collaborated with many local educational and arts organizations, including the University of Minnesota School of Music, Rochester Symphony, Thursday Musical, Shattuck-St. Mary's School, Minnesota Opera, The Schubert Club and Minnesota Dance Theatre. Since 2002 she has also served as a coordinator for the highly acclaimed International Piano-e-Competition, which has brought many of the finest young pianists in the world to Minnesota.