About

Benavides... found a way to sketch complete characters in swift, sure lines.
— Annie Midgette, Washington Post

Nicolas Lell Benavides’ (Ben-ah-VEE-des) music has been praised for finding “…a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines…” (Anne Midgette, Washington Post) and cooking up a “jaunty score [with] touches of cabaret, musical theater and Latin dance.” (Tim Smith, OPERA NEWS). He has worked with groups such as the Washington National Opera, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Friction Quartet, Elevate Ensemble, and Nomad Session.

He was recently a fellow of the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab in and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy. This summer, Nick will be the first ever Young Artist Composer in Residence at Glimmerglass Festival.

Upcoming premieres include a new work for Friction Quartet based on El Correcaminos (The Roadrunner), a new narrated work called Ocho Bendiciones for Nomad Session, and a new opera scene for USC’s inaugural New Opera Workshop. He recently premiered a new opera for Washington National Opera called Pepito with librettist Marella Martin Koch.

Nick has studied at Santa Clara University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and spends his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Nick has a love for journalism and current events, probably thanks to his wife Maggie Beidelman.

Name note: Though in written materials I prefer my full name (Nicolas Lell Benavides), my friends generally call me Nick.
IPA pronunciation: nɪkələs lɛl bɛnɑvidɛs

Long

Nicolas Lell Benavides’ music has been praised for finding “…a way to sketch complete characters in swift sure lines…” (Anne Midgette, Washington Post) and cooking up a “jaunty score [with] touches of cabaret, musical theater and Latin dance.” (Tim Smith, OPERA NEWS). He has worked with groups such as the Washington National Opera, Duo Cortona, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Friction Quartet, Elevate Ensemble, and Nomad Session. He aspires to be a storyteller through music, frequently drawing on his Nuevomejicano roots and culture.

Recent premieres include a new opera for Washington National Opera called Pepito with librettist Marella Martin Koch, an new work for for change dance collective incorporating Teatro Catalina in Nicaragua, an evening length work incorporating projections with wind octet Nomad Session based on small hidden spaces in San Francisco, and a 25th season anniversary piece, Rinconcito, for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Soon he will premiere a new opera scene from his upcoming opera, Gilberto, with New Opera West in LA.

He was recently a fellow of the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab in and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy. This summer, Nick will be the first ever Young Artist Composer in Residence at Glimmerglass Festival. He was recently composer in residence with Nomad Session and was composer in residence with Elevate Ensemble. He also held residencies at Avaloch Farm in New Hampshire, and at the Visby International Composers Centre in Visby, Sweden.

Nick has studied composition primarily with Donald Crockett, Dan Becker, David Conte, and Kurt Rohde and has studied music at Santa Clara University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has worked with Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, Nico Muhly, Jake Heggie, and Gene Scheer. He was the managing director of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Academy of Art University, and a teaching artist with the San Francisco Opera. He recently moved to LA to pursue a doctorate in music composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and spends his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Nick has a love for journalism and current events, probably thanks to his wife Maggie Beidelman.

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Nick Benavides
NickLBenavides [at] gmail [.] com