CCMF 2018 Concerto Competition winners Noah Kublank (Violin) and Clara Zhang (Piano), with CCMF Directors Dr. Susan Tang and Dr. Jaime Gorgojo and NEIU Conductor, Ben Firer

CCMF 2018 Concerto Competition winners Noah Kublank (Violin) and Clara Zhang (Piano), with CCMF Directors Dr. Susan Tang and Dr. Jaime Gorgojo and NEIU Conductor, Ben Firer

In 2019, CCMF will hold its 5th Annual Concerto Competition for pianists and string players. The winners will be invited to perform with the Northeastern Illinois University Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Firer in the fall of 2019. 

Competition Date - Saturday August 3rd, 2019 at 11am, Recital Hall of Northeastern Illinois University.

Eligibility - Participants must be fully accepted to CCMF in order to enter the competition.

Competition Fee - $50 added to CCMF Tuition.

Competition Repertoire - One movement from a concerto or solo piece. Please, refer to the approved repertoire list. Please contact the CCMF for works outside this repertoire list, as they will need to be approved.

Accompaniment - CCMF will provide an accompanist for the competition at no additional cost. Participants are welcome to bring their own.

All music must be performed by memory


Benjamin Firer

Benjamin Firer

Benjamin Firer, Conductor

 American conductor Benjamin Firer is currently serving as Orchestra Director and Professor of Conducting at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois.  He formerly served on the teaching faculties at Yale University, Pennsylvania State University, Juniata College, Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania, and most recently Northwestern University where he is a Doctoral Fellow in Orchestral Conducting.  As a student at the Bienen School of Music, Ben twice received the prestigious Emma Peters Hooper Endowed Award for outstanding musicianship and scholarship. Alongside his doctoral studies, Ben served as the assistant conductor for the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra participating in the historic 2018 tour of Asia.

As a guest conductor, Ben has performed with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra de la Francophonie, the Northwestern University Opera Theatre, Alice Millar Brass Ensemble, and New Music New Haven.  As a dedicated music educator, Ben is in demand as a clinician for school and youth orchestras including regular collaborations with the Midwest Young Artists, The People’s Music School and the Merit School of Music.

In the summer of 2016 Ben was selected as an Emerging Conductor with the Peninsula Music Festival and as Conducting Fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival.   Other recent awards include The American Prize in Conducting, The Woolsey Concerto Competition, Yale Chamber Music Competition, Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, and Long Island University Conductors Award.  Recognized for his musical entrepreneurship, he was awarded the 2010 SUNY Thayer Fellowship in the Arts.

Ben’s primary conducting teachers include Victor Yampolsky, Gerardo Edelstein and Toshiyuki Shimada.  In addition to his formal conducting studies, he has attended masterclasses in Europe and the United States, studying with prominent teachers such as Larry Rachelff, Donald Schleicher, and David Effron.