Praised by Cleveland Classical for a “wonderfully mind-blowing sound,” clarinetist BEN CHEN has performed across the globe on three continents and throughout the United States, from Maine to Alaska. As a young musician, Ben made his American solo debut at the Kennedy Center, the result of winning the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute concerto competition. He returned to the nation’s capital eight years later, where he served as assistant principal and E flat clarinetist with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Ben was previously principal clarinetist of the Youngstown Symphony and currently holds positions with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and the Erie Philharmonic. In addition to his contracted appointments, Ben has performed in subscription concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and as guest principal clarinetist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Equally dedicated to chamber music, Ben has been a member of the award-winning North Coast Winds quintet since 2015. His festival appearances include the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival, and ChamberFest Cleveland. Ben earned degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Franklin Cohen, and an Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory with Richard Hawkins. He resides in Bratenahl, Ohio, with his husband, pianist Dean Zhang. Together, they present recitals nationwide as the Edgewater Duo.