Ben Roidl-Ward is a bassoonist and improviser based in Chicago. His dedication to working with and advocating for composers of his generation has led him to commission and premiere numerous solo and chamber works featuring the bassoon with the goal of broadening the repertoire and expanding the possibilities of the instrument. Ben has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Northwestern and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensembles, along with several regional orchestras throughout the United States. He has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Spektral Quartet, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. His festival appearances include the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Lucerne, Tanglewood, Spoleto, and Banff Festivals. A 2018 Luminarts Fellow in Classical Music, Ben was recently named one of five finalists for the International Double Reed Society’s 2020 Gillet-Fox Competition. He is currently the second bassoonist of the Illinois Symphony and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for three years. Ben serves on the faculties of Carthage College, the Music Institute of Chicago, the People’s Music School, the Merit School of Music, and the North Carolina Governor’s School. He is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, where he studied with David McGill. Previous teachers include Ben Kamins at Rice University, George Sakakeeny at the Oberlin Conservatory, and Francine Peterson in the Seattle Area.
Photo by Lynn Lane