founder of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and TED talk speaker

DaPonte String Quartet happy hour hosts Benjamin Zander

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DaPonte String Quartet will host a Happy Hour on Friday, March 26, at 5 p.m., with special guest Benjamin Zander.

Zander is the founder of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and an inspiring speaker (his TED talk has been viewed over 14 million times).

For the past 50 years, Benjamin Zander has occupied a unique place as a master teacher, deeply insightful and probing interpreter, and as a profound source of inspiration for audiences, students, professional musicians, corporate leaders, politicians and more, according to DSQ, in a news release. 

Zander started his musical life as a composer and cellist. After completing his degree at the University of London, he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship which brought him to the United States. In 1965, he settled in Boston where he began his journey as a conductor.

Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in 1978 and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world.

Zander enjoys an international career as a speaker on leadership, with several keynote speeches at the Davos World Economic Forum, where he was presented with the Crystal Award for “Outstanding Contributions in the Arts and International Relations.”

The book, The Art of Possibility, co-authored with leading psychotherapist Rosamund Zander, has been translated into eighteen languages. In 2002, Zander was awarded the Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award by the United Nations. In 2007, he was awarded the Golden Door award by the International Institute of Boston for his “outstanding contribution to American society” as a United States citizen of foreign birth.

In 2012, Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO), which draws young musicians aged twelve to twenty-one to Boston. This tuition-free orchestra tours regularly and has performed in Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and the Berlin Philharmonie, among many other renowned halls. From 1965-2012, Zander was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC). He was the founding Artistic Director of NEC’s joint program with The Walnut Hill School, a high school for the Performing Arts. Zander led the NEC Youth Philharmonic on fifteen international tours and made several documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). 

For 25 years, Zander has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Philharmonia Orchestra. They have completed eleven recordings together, including a nearly complete cycle of Mahler symphonies as well as symphonies of Bruckner and Beethoven. High Fidelity Magazine named their recording of Mahler’s 6th Symphony as ‘The Best Classical Recording’ of 2002; their Mahler 3rd was awarded ‘Critic’s Choice’ by the German Record Critics’ Award Association; their Mahler 9th and Bruckner 5th recordings were nominated for Grammy awards for ‘Best Orchestral Performance.’ Throughout his career, Zander has remained deeply committed to making classical music accessible and engaging for all listeners. 

In 2018, the Benjamin Zander Center was founded – an immersive multimedia platform, that provides comprehensive access to all aspects of Zander’s musical work.


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Feel free to contact DSQ Executive Director, Lisa Westkaemper, at 207-315-7105, or

Event Date: 

Fri, 03/26/2021 - 5:00pm

Event Location: