Fiddle, Violin, Viola
Violinist/Fiddler and 3Arts awardee Brandi Berry Benson, whose "four-string acrobatics" and "indispensable skill" (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as "alert [and] outstanding" (Chicago Classical Review), as her "riffs.. powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, [as they] rolled out with irresistible glee" (Washington Post). She has appeared with numerous ensembles including but not limited to Newberry Consort, Kings Noyse, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ensemble Phoenix Munich, Apollo's Fire, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; and as soloist/concertmaster of Chicago Arts Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra (viola d’amore), Mountainside Baroque, Bloomington Early Music Festival Opera Orchestra, and St. Louis's Kingsbury Ensemble. Brandi has also performed throughout North America including at the Library of Congress, Festival de Musica Virreinal de Durango, Mexico City’s UNAM, the Boston, Berkeley, Indianapolis, and Madison Early Music Festivals, Early Music Now, and others. On air, she has appeared on WFMT, WGN-AM, WNUR, and Wisconsin Public Radio.
As a fiddler, Brandi grew up learning bluegrass and Texas swing styles from her early teens in College Station, Texas. Since then, she has performed with other violinist/fiddler artists like Darol Anger, Rachel Barton Pine, and also part of the Chicago folk scene with Chicago Barn Dance Company, Sunnyside Up, and others. With a keen interest in historical fiddle traditions pre-19th century, has presented workshops and classes through the Country Dance & Song Society, Madison Early Music Festival, and Northwestern University.
Brandi also serves on the faculty of DePaul University as co-director of their Baroque Ensembles program. A student of Stanley Ritchie and Cynthia Roberts, she holds degrees in violin performance from Indiana University and the University of North Texas. Brandi is Artistic Director of the Bach & Beethoven Experience (bbexperience.org), which released A Gaelic Summer and An Appalachian Summer albums in 2019, and will release Chicago Stories in 2020.
Started at the Old Town School in August of 2010