"His conducting technique is flawless — no grandstanding, just clear, precise and inspiring direction.”
– Kirke Mechem, composer
Our daily existence contains moments of half-noted grace. As a conductor and artist I strive to be a meliorist, and expose my singers and audience to many of these magical moments through the performance of music that expands the way the world is.
We as artists are masters of uncertainty since these moments are not guaranteed. Believing the text, internalizing a score, and having a deep understanding of musical style all contribute to reaching these moments, yet only an intimate human connection can lead to artistry.
“… the audience tittered with pleasure.”
– Rebecca Wallace, Palo Alto Weekly
“ I love your repertoire choices, your subtle yet convincing interpretations, and the whole amazing classiness of your performances.”
– Elena Sharkova, conductor
“… singing along with the Kronos Quartet, the kids prepared by Martín Benvenuto brought tears to my eyes.”
– Jeff Dunn, San Francisco Classical Voice
Martín Benvenuto is one of the leading choir conductors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Benvenuto is the Founder and Artistic Director of 21V, a Bay Area professional ensemble of soprano and alto voices of all gender identities with a focus on music of the 21st century of the Americas. He has served as Artistic Director of the Peninsula Women’s Chorus (PWC), WomenSing (WS), and the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus, has been on the faculty of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and is active as a clinician, panelist, and guest conductor at home and abroad.
Recognized for his exacting technique, and a passion for drawing the finest choral tone, Benvenuto’s repertoire is extensive. His choirs are dedicated to commissioning new works from upcoming and established composers from the U.S. and abroad and have been selected to perform at Chorus America and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conferences.
His choirs have also earned honors and high marks in international competitions in Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Hungary, and Spain. Of particular note are PWC’s American Prize in Choral Performance (winner in 2015, second place in 2011), the 2010 Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker award, which recognized WS for programming recently composed music that expanded the mission of the chorus, and the Third Prize awarded to the PWC at the 2006 Béla Bartók International Choir Competition, one of the most prestigious on the European circuit.
Benvenuto highly values artistic collaborations: his choirs have collaborated with Veljo Tormis, Joseph Jennings, Karmina Silec and Carmina Slovenica, Charles Bruffy, Quinteto Latino, California Shakespeare Theater, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, among others. Benvenuto has prepared choirs for organizations such as the San Francisco Opera, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Redwood Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet. He also appears as tenor soloist with leading Bay Area ensembles.
Benvenuto holds a D.M.A. in choral conducting from Boston University, where he studied with Ann Howard Jones and the late Robert Shaw. He earned his master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, where he studied with Joseph Flummerfelt, majoring both in Choral Conducting and in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. His undergraduate degrees in choral conducting and composition are from the Universidad Católica Argentina.