Eric Benjamin was named music director of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic following the 1996-97 concert season during which he served as the orchestra's principle guest conductor. Since his appointment he has led the orchestra in subscription concerts and overseen all aspects of the organization's performance. His programs have been hailed for their imaginative choice of music and personal appeal to members of the audience. He has also directed the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Chorus, preparing that group for annual performances with the orchestra in works such as Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs, the Mozart Requiem, Fauré's Requiem, and Handel's Messiah among others. His rehearsals with and programs featuring the Philharmonic Children's Chorus have been celebrated as outstanding community events for young people.
After graduating from New England Conservatory of Music, Eric joined the faculty of Newton (MA) North High School where he taught music theory and music appreciation, coached chamber music and conducted the orchestra. Formerly resident conductor of the Akron Symphony and director of the Akron Youth Symphony, the Dover Schools orchestra program, and the Canton Youth Symphony, he has also achieved considerable recognition as a composer and arranger and the host and producer of the award-winning radio show "Klassical Kids," a program for young people about classical music airing on WCLV Cleveland at 104.9 FM and was recently named Composer of the Year by the Ohio Music Teachers Association. He earned a master's degree in orchestral conducting at New England Conservatory and lists among his conducting teachers Gunther Schuller, Kurt Sanderling, Gustav Meier and Leonard Bernstein.
The Canton Symphony commissioned Eric Benjamin to compose a 45-minute piece based on the book A Secret Gift, now Canton's "One Book, One Community" selection. It's a great community collaboration between the reading project, the orchestra and the McKinley Museum.