Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg was born in 1999, and is a native New Yorker currently in his final year of the National Master in Orchestral Conducting in Amsterdam/The Hague. He is also an accomplished countertenor and pianist; he studied English and Music at Harvard, and previously attended Juilliard Pre-College and sang as a child soloist and chorister at the Metropolitan Opera.
In 2023/24 Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg conducts concerts with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Noord Nederlands Orkest, Rossini L'occasione fa il ladro at the Bredeweg Festival in Amsterdam, and the world premiere of his own cantata newly commissioned by Lyric Fest in Philadelphia. He will assist conductor/composer Matthew Aucoin at Boston Lyric Opera in performances of Aucoin Eurydice, also covering one of the vocal roles; and assists at the Atlanta Symphony, Spoleto Festival (Italy)/Orchestra di Santa Cecilia di Roma, and at several Dutch orchestras, notably the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Through his Master’s course last season, he conducted members of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and a Haydn program with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, as well as conducting Così fan tutte at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and Janacek Wandering of a Little Soul at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He has also assisted with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Choir, Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra, Phion, North Netherlands Orchestra, Belgian National, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the Dutch National Opera Academy. Wenzelberg is mentored in the course by Jac van Steen, Ed Spanjaard, Antony Hermus and formerly by the late Kenneth Montgomery, and has participated in masterclasses at Tanglewood, Snape Maltings’ Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme with Marin Alsop, the Gstaad Festival Academy with Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli, the Grafenegg Festival with Martyn Brabbins and Christian Jost, as well as in the Netherlands.
In 2023 he was selected for the Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, attracting attention as a burgeoning conductor and subsequently accompanying Barbara Hannigan as part of a concert for Marina Mahler’s 80th birthday. A 2021 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Winner, he has performed as a vocal soloist with many leading orchestras in the US, including the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, and the Columbus and Phoenix Symphonies.
At age 16, Wenzelberg joined the conductor-composer Ink Still Wet programme at Grafenegg, winning 1st prize and going on to conduct the Tonkuenstler-Orchester Wien. He subsequently won the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Conducting Competition, leading to an engagement with the Boston Pops at age 18. In March 2022, he conducted the world premiere of his opera NIGHTTOWN (based on James Joyce’s Ulysses) at Lowell House Opera, who commissioned the score and libretto. The piece was critically acclaimed by the Boston Globe and Schmopera, who wrote, 'It is almost infuriating that something could be so good.' He won a 2023 ASCAP Award for NIGHTTOWN, and previously in 2014 for his first opera, The Sleeping Beauty, a new opera for family audiences, which premiered to sold-out audiences in NY and NJ with a cast that featured several Metropolitan Opera singers. He has also had works performed at the Vienna Musikverein and Carnegie Hall, and by the Rochester Philharmonic and Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra.
Wenzelberg is fluent in Spanish and proficient in German, with knowledge of French, Italian, and Dutch. He joined Intermusica’s mentor scheme in Autumn 2023.
Schmopera, March 2022
'Wenzelberg is a highly original composer: about the closest I could come to describing his music is as a blend of Berio and Mahler…Nighttown is just an all-around masterpiece. This opera has an immense future in the opera house… It is almost infuriating that something could be so good'