Ben Irwin holds master’s degrees in composition and clarinet performance from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a bachelor’s degree in music from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition and theory at the University of California at Davis. His principal composition teachers are Kurt Rohde, Ross Bauer, Pablo Ortiz, Laurie San Martin, Mika Pelo, Stephen Dembski, Laura Schwendinger, and Phillip Rhodes. He has been a composition fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference and the Ostrava Days, MusicX, and soundSCAPE festivals, and a performance fellow at the SICPP, MusicX, soundSCAPE, and Bowdoin festivals.
Ben’s compositional interests include rhythmic counterpoint, proportionality, registrally specific harmonies, projection, and microtonality. As a clarinetist, he specializes in contemporary music and improvisation. Recent performances include Bresnick’s ***, Kurtag’s Hommage à R. Sch., and Carter’s Gra.