Benjamin Smolen
Lecturer - Flute Performance, Music Performance

Benjamin Smolen has performed across the globe, from the United States to Europe, Russia, and Japan. He joined the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in 2011, where he holds the Valerie and Hans Imhof Principal Flute Chair, and was recently appointed Principal Flute of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He is also Resident Flutist with the Los Angeles-based chamber ensemble Salastina. He has performed as guest Principal Flute with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Pasadena Symphony. He has given solo performances with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Gardner Webb Symphony Orchestra, Princeton University Orchestra, Charlotte Civic and Youth Orchestras, and twice on National Public Radio.

In addition to his work on stage, Benjamin is active in the Hollywood scoring industry and has recorded with composers including John Williams, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, John Powell, and Randy Newman. He can be heard on projects such as Star Wars Episodes VII – IX, Encanto, Avatar: The Way of Water, Nope, The Fabelmans, Toy Story 4, X-Men: Apocalypse, The BFG, Ghostbusters, Monsters University, Night at the Museum, and on Neil Young’s latest album, Storytone.

Benjamin has given recitals around the world, including performances as a featured guest at the Japan Flute Festival and the National Flute Association’s annual convention. He won First Prize at the Haynes International Flute Competition and James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition and Second Prize at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. His flute and guitar ensemble Duo Musagete, with guitarist Jerome Mouffe, has performed highly acclaimed concerts in the United States and Europe, and they recently released their debut album, Bach to Beaser.

Benjamin has been a guest teaching artist at Chapman University, CSU-Long Beach, CSU-Fullerton, San Diego State University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of California at Irvine, the Symphony Guild of Charlotte, the Long Beach Summer Flute Institute, and Jim Walker’s Beyond the Masterclass.

Benjamin completed his undergraduate studies in the Music and Slavic departments at Princeton University, during which time he also completed a Performance Diploma at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the New England Conservatory and spent two summers as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. His teachers include Paula Robison, Michael Parloff, Elizabeth Rowe, Jennifer Dior, and Jayn Rosenfeld.

Benjamin is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade, custom-crafted Haynes 14-karat gold flute.

Related Members

See All Music Faculty
James Miller
Lecturer - Trombone Performance; Associate Principal Trombone LA Phil
Chris Hanulik
Adjunct Professor - String Bass Performance; Principal Bass LA Phil
Varty Manouelian
Lecturer - Violin Performance; Violin LA Phil
Arturo O’Farrill
Director, UCLA Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; Professor
Adam Gilberti
Lecturer - Music Education/Woodwinds
Inna Faliks
Professor - Head of Piano
Michael Dean
Professor - Voice Performance
Vladimir Chernov
Distinguished Professor - Voice Performance
Jens Lindemann
Distinguished Professor of Trumpet
Jan Berry Baker
Professor of Saxophone, Vice Chair of the Department of Music, and Special Assistant to the Dean for Faculty Mentoring
Amy Sanchez
Lecturer - Horn Performance
Travis J. Cross
Director of Bands; Professor - Conducting
Rakefet Hak
Music Director of Opera UCLA, Lecturer
Johanna Gamboa-Kroesen
Assistant Professor--Music Education
Iris Malkin
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor
Wendy Caldwell
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
Lou Anne Neill
Lecturer - Harp Performance; Harp LA Phil
James Bass
Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, Director of Choral Studies
Jonathan Davis
Lecturer - Oboe Performance
Brendan McBrien
Lecturer--Music Education
Boris Allakhverdyan
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance, Principal Clarinet LA Philharmonic
Theresa Dimond
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Victoria Kirsch
Lecturer - Vocal Coaching
David Lefkowitz
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Music
Dante De Silva
Lecturer - Composition, Music Theory
Ryan Brown
Lecturer -- Voice
Christoph Bull
Adjunct Professor - Organ Performance
Movses Pogossian
Distinguished Professor of Violin; Founder and Advisor, Armenian Music Program - Music Performance
David Kaplan
Inaugural Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance; Assistant Professor
Herbie Hancock
Adjunct Professor; LA Phil Guest Artist
William Kinderman
Elaine Krown Klein Chair in Performance Studies, Professor
Peter Kazaras
Distinguished Professor - Director of Opera UCLA
Sarah Koo Freeman
Visiting Professor - Cello Performance
Gregory Goodall
Lecturer - Percussion Performance
Lily Chen-Hafteck
Professor and Special Assistant to the Inaugural Dean for Curricular Reform
Shahāb Pāranj
Composition – Lecturer and Postdoctoral Scholar, Contemporary concert music
Ben Hong
Lecturer - Cello Performance
Juliana Gondek
Distinguished Professor, Voice Performance
Alison Deane
Associate Adjunct Professor
Ian Krouse
Distinguished Professor
Aubrey Foard
Lecturer - Tuba Performance
John Steinmetz
Lecturer - Bassoon Performance
Che-Yen Chen
Professor - Viola Performance
Lucy Yates
Lecturer - Vocal Diction, Vocal Coaching
Ji Young An
Lecturer - Violin Performance
Nick DePinna
Adjunct Assistant Professor--Musicianship
Joshua Ranz
Lecturer - Clarinet Performance
Hitomi Oba
Director of Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, Lecturer
Cheryl Lin Fielding
Lecturer - Vocal Diction, Vocal Coaching
Gloria Cheng
Adjunct Professor - Contemporary Music, Performance Studies

Explore Other Degrees

Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a BA and teaching credential in just four years
Music Industry
A leadership-focused professional degree which prepares students to transform the creative, entrepreneurial, and executive structures of the music industry
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music