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Old News


Getting ready to launch the new record label, Cereal Music- you can check out some of my production work there. We're gearing up to the release of Mahler, Symphony no.5 by Ben Phelps in August. It's going to happen! *ed note: it did not happen


New project / collaboration! Music for percussion and electric guitar with Alexander Elliott Miller. Music by LA composers. Topic: public domain. Tuesdays @ Monk Space.

4-16 to 4-18-20

Denmark can't get enough of Return of the King, so I'll be back in April for three more performances. Aarhus, Denmark.


Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long returns with a performance by Vicki Ray in St. Louis at Washington University.


Everything canceled. Well, things have gotten a little bleak, but the world came to a stop with COVID-19 and most especially music- were canceled. Still trying to figure out how to even PLAN events not knowing if they truly will happen... but there's still lots potentially in the works! And album is forthcoming! Stay tuned!!


Vicki Ray will perform Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long in Los Angeles- March 14th. As part of the Equal Sounds series at Civic Center Studios. Tickets!


Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long returns with a performances apparently around the world. March 11th in Riga, Latvia, Vicki Ray Vicki Ray performs at the deciBels festival.

10-31 to 11-2-19

I'm back on the road assisting multiple performance of Return of the King, live to projection, in Aarhus, Denmark.


Out now! A recording of Michael Byron's Bridges of Pearl and Dust, for overdubbed vibraphones. All parts performed by me. Released on Cold Blue Music. Find it wherever you find music.


A heartfelt thanks to everyone that gave to my Kickstarter. I couldn't have done it without you! (Obviously.) The album Mahler, Symphony no. 5, by Ben Phelps, with The B Band, is one step closer to reality. Check back soon for further updates!

8-16-19 to 9-9-19

Fundraiser! Help me get money! I'm holding a Kickstarter to raise funds to finish my album, Mahler, Symphony no. 5, by Ben Phelps, with The B Band. I've been working on this for a long time. Check out my Kickstarter video!


I'm excited to be performing with the incredible Nic Gerpe (piano) on Tuesdays @ Monk Space. We'll be performing John Luther Adams' monumental 4,000 Holes, in what I believe will be the first Southern California performance of the piece.


An exciting event! Vicki Ray will premiere Sometimes I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long, with a video installation by Carole Kim, in a special concert as part of REDCAT's season under Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Vicki Ray continues her mini-NorCal tour with a second performance of Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long at the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, CA. 7:30 pm.


A preview performance of Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long at UC Berkeley with Pianist Vicki Ray. The performance will be at The Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at 8 pm.

September - October, 2018

My arrangement of Nina Rota's La Strada will continue in repertory at Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, Germany, playing in September and October. Choreography by Marco Goecke.


The B Band returns with a performance at the Outpost Series at UC Riverside. There will be Mahler.


I've written a new short and to-the-point piece for Panic Duo. They'll be performing it at Pasadena City College.


Continuing my stint as a guest performer with the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet I'll be performing at the UCSB Summer MusicFestival. On the UCSB Campus 7 pm.


I'll be a guest performer with the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA. 7 pm.

July 2018

I'm hard at work on a new arrangement of Nina Rota's La Strada in a new production at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, Germany, to be playing in July.

4-21-18 and 4-28-18

A Nice Day for the Races. I'll be performing in an operatic setting of the Samuel Beckett radio play by composer Michael Webster at The Box in the Arts District.


The Lord of the Rings live just keeps rolling along with concerts in Prague in December.


I'm excited for the completion of a new work for piano electronics, Sometimes I feel like my time ain't long. This first part will be half of an evening length piece was written for pianist Vicky Ray. More information coming shortly on performances....

8-18 to 8-20-17

There is a complete Trilogy of Lord of the Rings with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. I will be assistant conductor. Pretty huge.


Excited to return to the Mann Center for the completion of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with the Philadelphia Orchestra, live to video projection.


I'm thrilled to be joining Jacaranda for performances of 2 Steve Reich Masterpieces: Drumming and Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ. Should be fun.


I'm excited to announce that I'm joing the roster of Nomus21, who will be representing my orchestral piece, Circus Maximus. You can check out their website - it's an exciting new music experiment.


My Marimba Solo is available from Heartland Marimba Festival Publications... and they just updated their website which is looking great. So head over and check it out.

4-15 to 4-17-17

Three shows of Return of the King in Munich! Bavaria!


I'll be teaming up with Synchromy for a concert of Viola Music including Berio's Naturale at Bird Studio, Occidental College. 8 pm.

3-10 and 3-11-17

I return to complete the cycle in Florence with The Return of the King, the Opera di Firenze and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.


I'm excited to join the incredible Hocket Duo at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall for a performance of David Lefkowitz's piece for pianos and percussion, Calder's Closet.


In not-the-most-exciting-news, I've been making some long overdue housecleaning to the old website. This includes linking to more up-to-date recordings, and uploading some longer clips of my older pieces. Yes!


I've placed a recording of my massive marimba solo, Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) on SoundCloud. That's me performing it. I can't believe I played that many notes either.

1-28 and 1-29-17

The Lord of the Rings Europe 2017 extravaganza continues for two concerts of The Two Towers, live to projection in Florence, Italy with the Opera di Firenze and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

1-8 and 1-9-17

Excited to work with the Orquesta Nacional de España for two concerts of The Two Towers, live to projection in Madrid Spain.

10-13, 10-14 and 10-15-16

Thrilled to head to Paris (!) with Lord of the Rings, where we will be presenting all three movies (!) in a row, with live symphony orchestra.


The B Band heads to Boston Court in Pasadena to present Mahler, Symphony no. 5

9-17 and 9-18-16

I'll be performing Stravinsky's only opera, Rake's Progress, with the Pacific Opera Project. At Occidental College in Eagle Rock!


The B Band heads to the Carlsbad Music Festival for some adventurous music by the beach (by Ben Phelps). We're offering a sneak peak during the afternoon of Mahler, Symphony no. 5!


I'll be heading to city of brotherly love for a performance of The Two Towers with the Philadelphia Orchestra, live to video projection at the Mann Center. I'm unbelievably excited about this one. Perhaps you've heard of them.

6-19, 6-25 and 6-26-19

I'm returning to the music of JacobTV for the West Coast premiere of his multimedia opera The News. With the Long Beach Opera, but playing in Santa Monica at the Broad Stage!


As part of the annual Hear Now Festival of Los Angeles new music, my circus march for orchestra, Circus Maximus, will be performed by the UCLA Philharmonia.

4-1 and 4-2-16

Cool gig notice: I'm playing with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra at the Pantages in Hollywood in a pretty sweet program of all Star Trek music. So, I thought I'd put that here.

3-18 to 3-20, 2016

Italia! I'll be in Milan for three performances of The Fellowship of the Ring, Live to Video projection, March 2016.


You can have a special one-night-only chance to hear What's Next? and my Concerto for Viola, Percussion, and Casio Keyboard at Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. John Stulz, now violist with Ensemble Intercontemporain, returns to perform. Also premieres by Nick Norton and Alexander Elliott Miller!


Argus String Quartet will perform The Angels at Chapman University with Adam Bhatia, trumpet. 8 pm.


Cellist Christopher Ahn will reprise his performance of my somewhat brooding cello solo 29 Lines on the UCLA Faculty Composers Concert.


The B Band will have an official "debut" in double-bill with New York based composer collective Invisible Anatomy. The Blue Whale, 9 pm. Music to include piece by Dante DeSilva, Brendon Randall-Myers, and myself.


I uploaded some tracks from The Angels to soundcloud! Check out Argus String Quartet's (with Mike Zonshine, trumpet)'s awesome performance! Enjoy!

1-8 and 1-9, 2016

Back in Europe, this time Portugal, for two performances of The Fellowship of the Ring! Live to video projection, I'm the assistant conductor.

12-19 and 12-20, 2015

I head to Nuremburg, Germany, for two performances of The Return of the King, live to video projection, as assistant conductor.


Argus Quartet, will give a special repeat performance of The Angels at LA City College. More info to come.


As part of the important LA new music series Tuesday @ Monk Space, My String Quartet no. 1 (with trumpet) The Angels will be premiered in December by the Argus Quartet, the newly announced Visiting Fellows in residence at Yale University. 8 pm.


What's Next? returns to Boston Court for Attraverso, a concert of new music with an Italian influence.

9-18 to 9-20, 2015

I'll be assisting three performances of The Fellowship of the Ring with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Red Hat Amphitheater.


We've launched a GoFundMe campaign! Help support this exciting upstart festival. I will be composer in residence in June at the Heartland Marimba Festival in Iowa (new marimba music will be written...), but we need your help to make it possible! Check it out and thank you!


I'm pleased to announce that my much too big marimba solo Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) is now available from Heartland Marimba Festival Publications. Here's Matthew Coley performing the second movement of the piece:


The B Band returns to perform at the Academy for Creative Education at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood. We're ramping up to a more public unveilling.

6-12 and 6-13, 2015

I decided to fess up to my involvement with Lord of the Rings Live. I'm assistant conductor with the production, and will be in Perth, Australia for two performances of The Return of the King with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.


As part of the LAPhil's Next on Grand Festival this week, I'll be performing on Grand Avenue itself. With WildUp and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. It's weird, and kind of secret. But now you know.


You can check out Kaleidescope's performance of Mahler 4 sans conductor. (I'm playing bass drum- not many notes but they are played with heart).

4-1 and 4-3, 2015

I'll be performing with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra for two concerts in Pasadena and Santa Monica. We're doing Mahler, Symphony no. 4, with no conductor like we're all grown up!


I'll be performing as part of the Asia / America New Music Institute in Pasadena, California at the USC Pacific Asia Museum with Ryu Goto, Violin and others.


I go classical hipster. The B Band in Silverlake as part of the Classical Revolution at Silverlake Lounge. Featuring music by Bernard Herrmann, Dante De Silva, and Mahler- by Ben Phelps. More performances coming soon!


I'll be performing Ian Dicke's Eight oh eight as part of a lecture and demonstration about the piece at the first New Music Gathering in San Francisco. Concert.


Six Ways to Be Alone performed at Kaneko in Omaha, Nebraska. 8 pm.


Synchromy Music presents the West Coast Premiere of my Liebestod Waltzes at Occidental College.

August 2014

The B Band is coming August 2014. With the premiere of newly commissioned works by Dante De Silva and Brendon Randall-Myers, as well as the premier of Mahler, Symphony no. 5 by myself.


I'll be performing Ian Dicke's Eight oh eight and Jeffrey Holmes's Nastrond as part of the 2014 California State Summer School for the Arts Faculty Concert.


The Los Angeles Composer Project returns, continuing What's Next? Ensemble's dedication to Southern California's composers.


In the culminating event of What's Next? Ensemble's residency there, I will be performing on a concert of UC Riverside composers at the university.


What's Next? will return to Boston Court with special guest pianist Vicki Ray, where I will be performing some David Lang and Tristan Perich.


The B Band will be coming. There's a webpage. I got some grant money. Music is being written. This will happen.

9-20-13 to 9-22-13

What's Next? goes on the road to the Carlsbad Music Festival. I'll be doing lots of stuff there, and am an official composer in residence because of the performance of my Concerto for Viola, Percussion, and Casio Keyboard. Also I'll be performing some Philip Glass, some Luciano Berio, and some Somei Satoh.


Mark Swed wrote a pretty great reivew of What's Next? and our Naturale program in the LATimes. Check it out, and then check out the program again at the Carlsbad Music Festival.


I'll be performing the premiere of my Concerto for Viola, Percussion, and Casio Keyboard with What's Next? in a pop-up concert at Monk Space. Also featuring a new work by Alex Miller and Berio's Naturale.


As one of two summer pop-ups, What's Next? presents a concert of European modernism at Mimoda. I'll be playing some Stockhausen.


Performances of chorale / lament / rhapsody and Tangos of Astor Piazolla with the Westside Collective. At a private residence in Silver Lake- contact me for more info!


Uploaded! A new track! 29 Lines! Check it out on soundcloud or on the site here.


Talujon will perform my piece A Year of Solitary Thinking - in metal at the June in Buffalo Music Festival. I will be in attendance!


I'll be performing in collaboration with The Industry and wild Up at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Westwood. Six crazy new operas in progress!


The Boston Metro Opera will perform my Liebestod Waltzes as part of their Boston Contempo Festival. It's the American premiere! More info coming soon.


I'm excited to be playing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a performance of Steve Reich's Sextet, with Los Angeles pianists extraordinaire Vicki Ray and Joanne Pearce Martin. Part of the museum's Art and Music series. The maestro himself will be there, so you should be to.

4-19-13 and 4-26-13

What's Next? is proud to announce the return of the Los Angeles Composers Project. I'm co-director of the festival. To be held April 2013 at Boston Court in Pasadena. Now accepting score submissions, through February 1st!

[Los Angeles Composers Project 5 Logo]

4-24-13 and 4-25-13

I will be performing in two chamber music concerts of twentieth (and twenty-first) century music in Zankel Hall (!). Lead by John Adams and David Robertson.


In the biggest news of the year, I've added a page for my cello solo 29 Lines. This is to encourage all you cellists reading this to check it out and play it. A recording will be available for free download on soundcloud shortly!


I'm writing a new piece for Daniel Gall's "Wavering Lines" project. The premiere will be at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA.


The CalArts percussion ensemble, lead by David Johnson, will also perform Year of Solitary metal. In California. 8 pm.


I've updated the webpage, adding info on two new major pieces I wrote this year. The first is my String Quartet no. 1, for Trumpet and String Quartet, entitled The Angels. It's about Los Angeles. Get it? The second is my new Concerto for Viola, Percussion, and Casio Keyboard written for violist John Stulz and myself. Performances of this one are forthcoming.


The University of Maryland percussion Ensemble, lead by Lee Hinkle, will perform Year of Solitary metal. 8 pm.


I'll be performing my Tango (for four musicians) at LA Valley College on a recital by Nicholas Casillas, with Matt Cory (bass) and Brian Pezzone (piano).


I am pleased to announce that I will be in residence in winter 2013 at the Macdowell Artist Colony. Where I may freeze to death.


The band plays my Tango (for four musicians) at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music on Nic Gerpe's faculty recital.


As part of #bachtoberfest, I perform the Prelude to Bach's Partita for Solo Violin no. 3 in E major. On xylophone. On youTube.


A new recording of my Tango (for four musicians) now available on Bandcamp, iTunes, and everywhere digital music is available.


Something inspired me to upload Groove Culture to SoundCloud. Something I should have done like 5 years ago. So enjoy. You can download for free.


Since my latest thing is participating in these huge multi-composer collage works, you can hear my variations on Satie's famous Vexations as part of the Generous Ensemble's celebration of John Cage's 100th birthday. Central Connecticut State University, Torp Hall. 7:30 pm.


Aron Kallay and Rafael Liebich play piano music by Nick Norton, Ben Phelps, Jason Barabba, and other LA composers at a private residence. Including a long awated premiere of some of my 4 pieces for piano! Please email me for more information.


I posted this a while ago, but it never made it to my news stream. My performance of the Nachtmusik from my Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone)

6-6-12 to 8-4-12

Rogue Artists Ensemble's D is for Dog (with my music) returns to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Missed it before? Don't miss it this time around.

7-9-12 to 7-29-12

I'll be participating in the Bang on a Can festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA.


I was featured on the Composers Circle blog along with my piece Overture Maximus.


I will be performing in the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams's Inuksuit at the 2012 Ojai Music Festival.


Think LA Composers don't get no respect? What's Next? Ensemble presents the fourth annual LA Composer's Project. At the Royal-T. 8 pm.


Alex Singer performs Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) on his final DMA Doctoral Recital at USC. 7:30 pm, Ramo Recital Hall.

April 2012

Percussionist Matthew Coley will be performing Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) a number of dates in April (and beyond).

  • April 9, Solo Concert, University of Nebraska, Kearny
  • April 15, with SONIC INERTIA, Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI
  • April 16, with SONIC INERTIA, Northwestern University, Evanton, IL
  • April 17, with SONIC INERTIA, Center on Halsten, Chicago, IL
  • April 21, featured artist, Oregon Day of Percussion, Ashland, OR


On Sunday, April 29th a recording of me performing my marimba solo Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) will be broadcast streaming on Kinetics Radio 8 pm PST.


The What's Next? Ensemble returns to the Royal-T with a performance of Michael Gordon's chamber opera Van Gogh. I play the percussion. With multi-media extravaganza! 8 pm.


If you ever wanted to read a review calling me a "magician of the marimba", well, now you can. There's also a pretty dorky picture of me. If you would like to hear me performing, don't forget I have a nice little archive up here.


I will be performing the world premiere of Stephen Cohn's Marimba Quartet with musicians from the Colburn School of music at the Shumei Arts Council. 2:30 pm.


At long last the LA Percussion Quartet is scheduled to premiere Year of Solitary Thinking- in metal. Oliphant Hall, at Chapman University in Orange County, CA. 8 pm. Map


Piazzolla (and Mahler, on vibraphone) at the UCLA school of music at 8pm. Jan Popper Theater. It's kind of a homecoming. With a briefly reconstituted Westside Collective.


91.5 KUSC in Los Angeles will be broadcasting Overture Maximus again this Sunday night! Don't miss out! Circa 8 pm.


What's Next? second fall concert at Royal-T in Culver City. Featuring the world premiere of Six Ways to Be Alone.


Here's an interview of yours truly concerning Six Ways to Be Alone and What's Next?


Works by Sean Friar, Louis Andriessen, Wojteck Blecharz, and Donald Crockett, performed by What's Next? at Royal-T in Culver City. I'll be playing percussion.


I'm excited to announce a commission for a new piece from the Blackbird Music Project to be premiered in 2012.

7-1-11 to 8-7-11

After it's Orange County engagement at South Coast Repertory, D is for Dog continues at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets and more info visit

And here, listen to a bonus track from the show:

D is for Dog - Jane's Story by benphelps


A couple reviews that actually acknowledge the presence of music in the show, D is for Dog. One from The Edge, and one from good old LAWeekly.

6-17-11 to 6-19-11

My first collaboration with the Rogue Artist Ensemble improbably returns. To South Coast Repertory, in Orange County, no less! Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm.


What's Next? presents the 3rd annual LA Composer's Project, now at the Royal/T in Culver City. Free. I'll be performing the music of Don Davis. Other composers on the line up include William Kraft, Lalo Schifrin, Morten Lauredisin, and David Werfelmann. Everyone's going to be there.


KUSC did a brief on-air feature on the upcoming Los Angeles Composer's Project.


I'll be performing Luciano Berio's Chemins II and premiering Liviu Marinescu's Harmonic Fields with the Nimbus Ensemble at the Westwood United Methodist Church. 4pm. Map


My new CD, Music for the Rogues is now available on CDBaby and Bandcamp. Coming any day to digital stores everywhere. Featuring music from several of my multiple collaborations with Rogue Artist Ensemble and made possible in part with a grant from the American Composer's Forum.


What's Next? presents an evening of challenging music for viola at the South Pasadena Public Library. I'm not playing, but I am helping to administrate. Jack Stulz will be playing the viola.


Flutist Michael Matsuno will perform part of my Sonata for Flute and Piano...a romance on his concert of new music for Flute. At the United University Church on the University of SOuthern California Campus, 5:30 pm


Alan Chapman once again played my piece Overture Maximus on KUSC this evening. So that's kinda cool.


I added some of my better playing and recordings to a new webpage, found in the media section. Check it out!

11-6-10 to 12-12-10

I've written some 80's synth-pop on steroids for Rogue Artists Ensemble's latest show, HYPERBOLE: origins. The show opens at [Inside] the Ford in Los Angeles with a special gala performance November 6th.


The Minnesota Orchestra's performance of Overture Maximus will be broadcast live on Minnesota Public Radio, as well as my interview with American Public Media's Performance Today host Fred Childs. Listen at


I will be in Minneapolis in October with Overture Maximus and the Minnesota Orchestra. The concert is October 29th. I'll be there for various festivities as well as pre- and post- concert discussions. There's a lot of discussion.


For the week of October 24th, I will be the featured composer on the No Extra Notes podcast and blog. Hear my goofy interview and some goofy music.


I've uploaded a new video of me playing Andrew Thomas's Merlin to YouTube. Check it out!


My new moderately-monumental song cycle, Six Ways to Be Alone is completed. The piece, for sextet plus solo voice can be thought of as a mini meta-opera, or as a mon-opera. I'm currently organizing a performance for the spring- stay tuned.


I'm pleased to announce the completion of my new percussion quartet, Year of Solitary Thinking- in Metal. The piece was commissioned by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and will be premiered in the Fall. More info coming soon.


The Rogue Artist Ensemble's new show, HYPBOLE: origins will be previewed as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at the Art|Works theater. Shows at 4 pm and 8 pm.


Because every self-respecting composer is supposed to have one, I broke down and added a blog to my website. Now you can read my snarky comments about music nobody cares about- and some music that people do.


I'm very pleased to announce that I've been commissioned to write a new piece for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, to be premiered in the fall 2010.

5-26-10 to 5-28-10

Three brand new concerts. All LA based composers, all the time. Held at USC. The most comprehensive retrospective of new music taking place in Los Angeles today. Submit your music at


I'm very pleased to announce that I've been award a grant from the American Composers Forum to help produce a CD of my music written for Rogue Artists Ensemble. Hooray!


The What's Next Ensemble will be presenting an ecclectic musical happening at the Fake Gallery in Hollywood. The concert will feature the long awaited Los Angeles premier of my bass clarinet duo, Musical Offering (for bass clarinets), featuring a "gradually diminishing" canon at the minor second. The program will also feature my raging liberalism in a people's performance of Louis Andriessen's Worker's Union as well as Osvaldo Golijov's Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Holy crap what a good program.
8 pm. Map Purchase Tickets

3-15-10 is now online. Come and explore the newest creation of the Rogue Artist Ensemble, featuring the music of Ben Phelps (and others!) You can even share your own contributions / ideas / creations. It's a one of a kind Hyper-theatrical event.


I will be premiering Sarah Gibson's new piece, Sea Monkey, written for me and cellist Peter Myers. Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC campus.
7:30 pm. Map


The LA Composers Project is now accepting scores for the 2010 festival. Postmark deadline March 1st! Submit your music at


Because who doesn't want to hear some unrepetent British modernism, I will be playing Harrison Birtwistle's Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum with the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble. Bleep-blop at its finest. Then stay for Eric Guinivan's Mie. If you hear virtuosic xylophone, that's me. Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC campus.
7:30 pm. Map


Rogue Artist Ensemble's 2009 production, GOGOL PROJECT, based on the works of Nikolai Gogol- which I worked intensively to develop- has been nominated for six awards each by both the LA Drama Critic's Cricle and the LA Weekly Theater Awards. Congratulations, all nominees (and winners!). Sadly, neither organization offers an award for dramaturge. To see the nominations, please visit I would point out that both groups nominated the script, which I do take a certain personal pride in.

9-25-09 to 11-8-09

GOGOL PROJECT has been extended one more weekend to November 8th! Written by Kitty Felde (of KPCC fame). Based on three short stories of Nikolai Gogol. I'm acting as dramaturg. Performances are at the Bootleg Theater. 8pm. Map


I will be performing Sean Naidoo's Bad Times Coming with the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and pianist and Los Angeles new-music mainstay Vicky Ray at Chapman University. 8 pm.


I have added sound files and information about several of my more recent pieces, Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone), Passacaglia per augmentationem, and Musical Offering (for bass clarinets).


I'm told that apparently Overture Maximus was once again played on KUSC tonight, this time paired with John Corigliano's Circus Maximus- my piece's arch nemesis. His piece may be more maximal, but mine definitely has more circus AND more overture. There was no clear winner.


There are some pretty awesome new webpage improvements. All media now streams on a pretty awesome flash player. Check it out.

6-11-09 to 6-19-09

Tango (for four musicians) will open the first ever LA Composers Project Thursday, June 11th at 8 pm in USC's Newman Concert Hall. I am helping to organize the event, which will produce 3 concerts over the course of a week, featuring 18 local composers from at least 3 generations, young upstarts and established giants, as well as countless dedicated and (dare I say) beautiful performers. Sure to be one of the most exciting presentations of music by Los Angeles based composers EVER. Be there. More info


Check out my performance of chorale / lament / rhapsody on YouTube. Sure to go viral any second now!


I will be competiting as a semi-finalist in the first annual Southern California Marimba Competition at Chapman University against some of the best young marimbists in the world. Of course I'll be playing my own piece Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) should I advance to the finals.

4-28-09 and 4-29-09

The Rogue Artists are pleased to present a workshop performance of the Gogol Project, based on three short stories of Nikolai Gogol and written by KPCC's Kitty Felde. I'm acting as dramaturg. At the Bootleg Theater. 8pm. Map


I'm excited to announce that I've been named a winner in the USC Concerto competition, performing my own marimba concerto.


I'm very excited to announce that I will be developing Pinocchio for Rogue Artist's Ensemble. Based on Carlo Collodi's original, this is definitely not your mother's (or Disney's) wooden child. Coming 2010.


Ben Phelps: The Recital
The big event. Four works, one night only. Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC campus.
8 pm. Map

chorale / lament / rhapsody
Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone)
Tango (for four musicians)
Sonata for Flute and Piano......a romance

Assisted by these fine musicians:

Timothy Hagen, flute
Nicholas Casillas, saxophones
Sonia Sielaff, clarinet
Nicolas Gerpe, piano
Alan Chan , piano
Josh Salzbury, trombone


For those of you in Northern California unable to make it to the main event, even though it will be amazing, the infamous bass clarinet duo Sqwonk will be performing my A musical offering (for bass clarinets) at the Old First Church in San Francisco. They will be appearing with the Real Vocal String Quartet at 8 pm. Map


Ben Phelps performs Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) at the Chapman University Percussion Symposium.


The Westside Collective performed (with Ben Phelps on vibraphone) at the second annual Masquerade put on by the Rogue Artist Ensemble. The group will perform Phelps's chorale / lament / rhapsody. 7 pm at the Shakespeare Festival/LA.


My new marimba solo, Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) is premiered on a USC Contemporary Music Ensemble Concert in the Alfred Newman Recital Hall on the USC campus. 7:30 pm. Stay tuned for future performances!

7-8-08 to 9-7-08

Run extended!!! The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch returns! At the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. Visit the Rogues for more info! You can also listen to some of the music from the show.


89.3 KPCC listeners, keep an ear open on Saturday, August 23: OffRamp will be running a spot on Mr. Punch, complete with audio and music from the show! It airs at noon with a re-broadcast at 8pm. Not in Southern California? Listen on-line at


A rave review of Mr. Punch appears in the LA Times. They also ran a full-page photo spread of the production which can be viewed here.


The bass clarinet duo Sqwonk will premier my piece A musical offering (for bass clarinets) at 8 pm at the San Fransisco Conservatory of Music, in the Salon.


Passacaglia per Augmentationem performed by the Nucleus Ensemble at a private fundraiser for the Definiens Project.


The Nucleus Ensemble, part of the Definiens Project, will perform Passacaglia per Augmentationem at the Parkside Performance Café on the USC campus at 7 pm.


My new work, Passacaglia per Augmentationem, for Oboe, Cello, and Piano will have its world premier by the Tonoi Ensemble at St. James Episcopal Church in South Pasedena at 3 pm.


Zoology is performed by Soprano Amanda Grooms at the Aspen Music Festival, in Harris Concert Hall at 8:30 pm.


I am pleased to announce a new commission for a work for Oboe, Cello, and Piano from the Tonoi Ensemble, based in Los Angeles.


There have been several major updates to the webpage. Checkout the new recordings, clips, and pictures available on the Media page.

4-27-07 to 5-27-07

The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch runs for 20 performances, Friday through Sunday at Theatre / Theater in Los Angeles. For more information please visit More pictures from the production are also available on the Media page.


Overture Maximus, my circus march for orchestra, has been awarded the Sadye J. Moss Endowed Musical Composition Prize by the University of Southern California. I am also pleased to announce that I have received a generous scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado this summer, where I will be a student of reknowned composer George Tsontakis.


I will be interviewed by Martin Perlich on KCSN Arts and Roots Radio as part of the station's Arts and Roots Forum (ARF!). I will discuss my recent and on-going collaboration with the Rogue Artists Ensemble, the art of dramatic music composition, as well as my piece, Overture Maximus. The interview can be heard live at 4 pm or streaming over the internet at


The world premier of my Sonata for Flute and Piano...a romance by Flutist Alaina Bercilla at the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The recital is at 1 pm in the School of Music's McIntosh theater.


Much news! I am pleased to announce that I am currently working on two commissions- a flute sonata for flutist Alaina Bercilla, which will be premiered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in April 2007, and a piece for the bass clarinet duo Sqwonk (that's right, a bass clarinet duo) based out of San Fransisco. The other big project in the works is a new collaboration with Rogue Artists Ensemble, a new play adapted from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's graphic novel, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. The play is set to open next April. I am also happy to report that my recently completed orchestra piece, Overture Maximus, will be premiered February 8th 2007 by the USC Thornton Symphony, with Donald Crockett conducting.


Ben Phelps will be performing the single (ridiculously difficult) percussion part to British wunderkind composer Thomas Ades's chamber opera, Powder Her Face, tonight at 8 pm, with additional performances Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 7 pm, at USC's Bing Auditorium. The opera will be conducted by Ades himself, and is a joint production of the LAPhil and the USC Thornton School of music.


The Westside Collective, with Ben Phelps on vibraphone, will be performing as part of the LA Valley College's free Thursday morning concert series. The 11:30 am concert will include chorale / lament / rhapsody. For more information click here.


Phelps has been appointed timpanist of the American Youth Symphony.


Ben Phelps's piece chorale / lament / rhapsody will be performed by the West Side Collective (with Ben Phelps on vibraphone) on the USC composer's concert at 4 pm. Yes, it is at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall.


Zoology will be performed at 7:30 pm by the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble (Frank Ticheli, guest director) in USC's Alfred Newman Recital Hall. Also on the program will be works by Dan Becker, Belinda Reynolds, and a performance by violinist Midori. Wow.


Ben Phelps's song, Zoology, will be sung at 4 pm as part of the USC Thornton School of Music's "parent's day," in order to show how good the school of music is. The concert is at 4 pm in USC's Alfred Newman Recital hall.


On April 22 at 7 pm Phelps's new work, chorale / lament / rhapsody, for Clarinet, Sax, Trombone, Percussion, and Bass will be premiered by the Westside Collective at the Westwood Hills Christian Church, 10808 LeConte Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90024. The concert is made possible in part by a grant from the Hanson Institute for American Music.


On April 11 at 3 pm a new song by Ben Phelps, entitled "Zoology," on a text by Jillian Burcar, will be premiered at the Fisher Gallery on the campus of the University of Southern California as part of the concert, "One Language, Many Voices." The concert is free and will feature premiers of several other new vocal works by young LA-based composers setting texts of young LA-based poets. There will be a reception to follow. A feature article will appear in Monday's (4-10-06) Daily Trojan about the concert because it is very interdisciplinary, which is an exciting buzz-word right now.


Here is an article which mentions my piece and collaboration with poet in Jillian Burcar.


Ben Phelps has been awarded a grant from the Hanson Institute of American Music (based out of the Eastman School of Music) to compose a new work for a quintet of Clarinet, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion and Bass. The work will be premiered April 22, 2006.


This date marks heralded launch of this web site, the one you are reading this news on right now. At the moment, I have little else to report that isn't already included on this site, so I'm just filling space. Be sure to check out the page on The Adventures of Johnny Crumb (it's the best page on the site), and check out the Listening section so you know what all the hype is about in the first place.


Ben Phelps is born.