Ben Hjertmann, composer

Ben Hjertmann is a composer/vocalist based in Boone, North Carolina.  Ben composes and performs with the avant-folk trio the Grant Wallace Band and surrealist-pop band Kong Must Dead.

Ben Hjertmann is a composer and vocalist based in Boone, North Carolina. He composes and sings with the avant-folk trio the Grant Wallace Band, and surrealist-pop band, Kong Must Dead.

Ben has collaborated with numerous chamber groups including Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Friction Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Borromeo Quartet, Anubis Quartet, Callithumpian Consort, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and many others. His large ensemble music has been performed by Northwestern, UT-Austin, Louisiana State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Kansas State, Lawrence, U-Nebraska at Lincoln, and NYU, Texas Tech, among others. In 2013, Hjertmann developed a consortium to collaborate with 34 wind ensembles in which the students and conductors worked closely with the composer throughout the process of creating a new work.

Ben’s music has been featured at Resonant Bodies Festival, Fast Forward Austin, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics, the conference of the College Band Directors National Association, and the South by Southwest (NonClassical showcase). He has been a resident artist at 360 XOCHI QUETZAL, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Shell Lake Arts Center. He was a 2013 fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute, and a 2011 fellow at the Other Minds Festival.

His work appears on Spektral Quartet’s debut album “Chambers”, released by Parlour Tapes+, and pianist Nick Phillips “American Vernacular” album released on New Focus Records. In 2013 he released a self-produced album of chamber metal called Angelswort.

Ben received his Doctor of Music in Composition degree from Northwestern University in 2013. His dissertation research focused on microtonal harmonic structures derived from sum & difference tones. He received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Illinois Wesleyan University. Ben previously taught music technology, composition, and song writing at Northwestern University as well as theory and composition for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Currently he teaches theory, electronic music, and composition at Appalachian State University.