GEORGE BENTON ENGLAND
Modern & Historical
Sinfonia Spirituosa 2016-Present
Third Person Narrative 2014-Present
Ensemble Musica Humana 2017-Present
I live in New York City where I perform and teach classical/modern guitar. I double on instruments such as theorbo, renaissance lute, baroque guitar and vihuela. I create programs that span several style periods and highlight rare works as well as established favorites. I am regularly engaged as an ensemble player, most recently with the New York-based Renaissance group, Ensemble Musica Humana, on vihuela and lute; on baroque guitar and theorbo with Sinfonia Spirituosa, based in Sacramento, California; and with soprano, Dr. Kathleen O'Rourke, in the O'Rourke - England Duo. I hold a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from California State University Sacramento and Northridge, respectively. I am on faculty at Diller-Quaile School of Music, 92nd Street Y School of Music, and Brooklyn Guitar School.
O'Rourke - England Duo
Soprano Kathleen O'Rourke and I have been working together since 2013. Using text from various sources and utilizing plucked-string instruments, we present engaging programs with a narrative current throughout.
My teaching is continually informed, inspired, and renewed by my interest in diverse and divergent musical worlds. While I primarily focus on teaching guitar in the broad "Classical" style, I work with students to help them find and improve their relationship to their own musical skills. Many of my beginning students learn Rock classics and modern favorites on their way to being introduced to the basics of harmony, improvisation and practice skills. My motivations for using the guitar (and other plucked-strings) in ensemble and solo settings is rooted in a preference for variety of sound, timbre, and interpretation. Likewise, my students become excellent collaborative musicians, comfortable in many settings.
I teach with a concern for the total musical growth of the student. Rather than strictly adhering to pre-determined methods and markers of development, I meet students where they are and work with each individual to reach musical goals. As a trained Suzuki Guitar Method Instructor, I utilize Suzuki philosophy and repertoire for my younger students. For my more experienced and older students, lessons are shaped by their personal goals and interests. I offer my services as a musical coach to assist you in your development.
I have lectured at California State University Northridge and Yuba Community College in California. I currently teach at the Diller-Quaile School of Music on the Upper East Side, Brooklyn Guitar School in Park Slope, and Great Neck Music Conservatory in Nassau County. I also offer lessons in my studio in Washington Heights for those wishing to pursue studies outside of a larger educational facility.