Ben Hjertmann is a Chicago-based composer and vocalist. Ben composes and performs with the avant-folk trio the Grant Wallace Band and surrealist-pop band Kong Must Dead.
Hjertmann has collaborated with numerous chamber groups Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Friction Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Borromeo Quartet, Anubis Quartet, Callithumpian Consort, Ensemble Dal Niente and many others. His large ensemble music has been performed by UT-Austin, Louisiana State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Kansas State, Lawrence, Northwestern, U-Nebraska at Lincoln, and NYU, Texas Tech, among others. In 2013, Hjertmann formed a consortium of 34 wind ensembles and individuals in which the students of participating ensembles work closely with the composer throughout the process of creating a new work.
His music has been featured at Fast Forward Austin, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics, the conference of the College Band Directors National Association, and the South by Southwest NonClassical showcase. Hjertmann has been a resident artist at 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 teaches composition, music technology, theory, and song writing at Northwestern University and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.