Benjamin Verdery

Artistic director of 92nd Street Y’s Art of the Guitar series, Benjamin Verdery enjoys an innovative and eclectic musical career.

Since 1985, he has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music, and he is artistic director of the Yale Guitar Extravaganza. As a performer, Verdery has given concerts around the world, appearing at the International Guitar Festival (Havana), the Festival International de Agosto (Caracas), the Schubert Festival (Bad Urach, Germany), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and elsewhere. Among the composers who have written works for him are Daniel Asia, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, Roberto Sierra and Jack Vees.

In addition to his solo career, Verdery has performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Hermann Prey, John Williams, Paco Peña, Frederic Hand, Leo Kottke, Andy Summers and Jessye Norman. He has performed duos with his wife, flutist Rie Schmidt, and with steel guitarist William Coulter. Verdery has released more than 15 albums. His latest recordings are Happy Here, with Coulter, and Branches, with arrangements of Bach, Mozart, Strauss and Hendrix (Mushkatweek). His 2005 recording, Start Now (Mushkatweek), won the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award.

A prolific composer, Verdery’s works are published by Doberman-Yppan. His recent works include What He Said, which was commissioned by 92Y and premiered by the Assad Duo last November; Now and Ever for David Russell (Telarc) and Peace, Love and Guitars for John Williams and John Etheridge (Sony). His website is