Ben Russell is a violinist, vocalist and composer who has played all over the world with all sorts of people. He is a member of American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and co-creator of the songwriting collective Founders.
Ben began his career in 2005 by winning the Principal 2nd Violin chair of Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine which he held for 8 years. In 2006 he co-founded Bryant Park Quartet, a classical string quartet dedicated to teaching chamber music to high school and college students around the country. In 2008 he became a member of ACME, a daring new-music group focused primarily on the work of living American composers. In 2017, ACME is releasing its first portrait album containing nearly all original music composed by members of ACME.
In the past 10 years, Ben has performed with several ensembles including International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Talea, A Far Cry, Wordless Music Orchestra and Mark Morris Dance Group. He has toured and recorded with several artists including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The National, Blonde Redhead, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson and has appeared on stage with Björk, Jonny Greenwood, and Paul McCartney.
After releasing his self titled solo album of original music for violin and voice in 2012, he co-created Founders which combines classical and folk musics with original compositions and pop arrangements. Founders released its debut album, You & Who, in early 2014. Their forthcoming album will include a song cycle utilizing the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
Ben studied violin performance at BIOLA and Amsterdam Conservatory and received his Masters from New England Conservatory. He now lives in Peekskill, NY with his wife Anna and can often be found in his garden.