Benjamin is a 17 year-old Venezuelan cellist, trained in the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. He began his musical studies at age 7. Since then he has belonged to several local orchestras and participated in numerous concerts and recitals. In 2016, he began his studies at the Simon Bolivar Music Conservatory in Caracas, where his mentors were the Maestros Francy Vasquez and Juan J Romero. In 2017 he was part of the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maes-tro Ulyses Ascanio, as second cello. In April of 2018 he emigrated to the USA, and since that time Courtenay Vandiver Pereira has been his mentor in cello. Benjamin is part of the or-chestra of Mayde Creek High School, performing in TMEA Region 23’s Orchestra for four consecutive years, earning a Principal Cello position in 2021. He has also played for multiple years in the Houston Youth Sym-phony, the last two of those in HYS’s top orchestra (Symphony). He has participated in the 2020 and 2021 International Cello Institute, placed 5th and 2nd in the Virtuosi Concerto Competition, and was invited by Carnegie Hall to join the prestigious 2021 National Youth Orchestra 2
(NYO2). He is fortunate to have been under the direction of the Maestros Franz Krager and Andzrej Grabiec at Virtuosi of Houston since 2018.