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Regarded as “a daring force of nature” by The New York Times, and “a performer in a league of his own”
by The Los Angeles Times, Colombian clarinetist Benito Meza has appeared with the Boston Philharmonic,
the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Gardner Chamber Orchestra, the Modern Music Ensemble, the
Los Angeles Wind Ensemble, and on Harvard University’s Chamber Music series, among many others. A
winner of Astral Artists’ 2009 National Auditions, he made his critically acclaimed concerto debut on Astral’s
series in April 2012, with Symphony in C.
Mr. Meza has performed and studied with such renowned musicians and conductors as Daniel Barenboim,
Gustavo Dudamel, and Yo-Yo Ma. In Boston, he studied with Jonathan Cohler. He has appeared in Weill
Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum, Sanders Theater at Harvard University, and at Lincoln Center, and recently recorded the
Grammy-nominated album Providencia with famed pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, for the Mack
Avenue Records label.
Mr. Meza grew up in a musical family, and first studied music with his father. At the age of 14 he began
clarinet lessons with Carlos Julio Parra Vivas in his native city of Valledupar, and at 17 was awarded a full
scholarship to Javeriana University’s music program, where he studied with Hector Pinzon and Christopher
Jepperson. In 2001, he was invited to study at the National Institute of Musical Studies in Venezuela with
Valdemar Rodriguez and Edgar Pronio, and joined Venezuela’s world-famous music education program, El
Sistema. As a member of the celebrated Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, he made
television appearances with Maestro Andrés Briceño.
Also a composer, Mr. Meza’s compositions and development as a musician have been greatly influenced
by the wealth of varied forms of music he was exposed to throughout his childhood. From the beginning of
his career, he was involved with both classical and jazz music, and Colombian folk music, Afro-Caribbean
rhythms, and contemporary improvisation are also represented in the structure of his compositions. Benito
Meza is currently an Affiliate Artist serving on the music faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of