Benjamin Boone, Fresno State professor of music, composer and accomplished jazz musician, has been drawing headlines for his “Inside the Music” pre-concert lectures with the Fresno Philharmonic. The lecture series was recently featured in the Fresno Bee.
When Boone took over the pre-concert lecture series in 2012 he set out to shake up the traditional format by incorporating video interviews with featured artists and focusing on one or two central ideas. He views the lecture series as an opportunity to educate the public about music and give them the tools to appreciate it at a higher level.
“Ben brings the combined skills of a teacher, performer, composer and scholar to the pre-concert talks,” said Stephen Wilson, executive director of the Fresno Philharmonic. “Since he started the audience for “Inside the Music” has grown steadily and people routinely come up to me in the concert hall to tell me how much they enjoy his presentations.”
The 30-minute lecture starts an hour before each Fresno Philharmonic Masterworks concert, and his video interviews with internationally-accomplished violinist Sarah Chang and pianist Orion Weiss are available on YouTube.
Boone has taught at Fresno State since 2000 and has won the “President’s Award of Excellence” and the “Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities.” Boone has played saxophone throughout the U.S. and Europe. His compositions have been performed in over 24 countries.