Composer / pianist Ben Schwendener sustains a unique voice in contemporary creative music. A leading authority on George Russell’s Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, Schwendener has helped to establish a new direction in natural pedagogy and dialogue-based arts education.
A prolific composer, he has created music for small and large ensembles, dance companies, film, video and art installations, and written volumes of piano music for ‘Children of All Ages’. He performs frequently with his many ensembles and on solo piano throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.
He has produced eight CDs as leader / co-leader on Gravity Records (an independent label he co-founded in 1992), Label Bleu and Alabaster. His latest work, Upward Mobility, is with the Mobile Trio, featuring Kenwood Dennard and Marc Friedman. Other recent releases include: ‘Apfelschaun-New Episode‘ (with Uwe Steinmetz) and his first solo release since 2005, the two CD ‘Industrial Folk Music‘.
Ben was (from 1986 on) an editorial assistant to the late George Russell, and is a certified teacher (and while Russell was alive, of teachers) of the Lydian Chromatic Concept. He often presents the LC Concept and his own creative pedagogy at national and international workshops and seminars. Former teachers also include Ran Blake, Jimmy Guiffre, Miroslav Vitous and Joe Maneri.
Presently living in Boston, Schwendener is on the Faculty at the New England Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and at UMass Boston’s Creative and Critical Thinking Department in the Graduate College of Education at UMass Boston. He is also founder and director of Gravity Arts, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing customized educational services and products for individuals, groups and corporations.