Martín Benvenuto, Artistic Director

Martín Benvenuto is one of the leading treble choir conductors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he has been Artistic Director of WomenSing (WS) since 2002. Active as a clinician, panelist, and guest conductor, Benvenuto is also Artistic Director of the Peninsula Women’s Chorus (PWC), has served as Artistic Director of the Contra Costa Children’s Chorus, and has been on the faculty of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir for eight years.

Recognized for his exacting technique, and a passion for drawing the finest choral tone, Benvenuto’s repertoire is extensive. In addition to the historical repertoire, his choirs are dedicated to commissioning new works from composers such as Kirke Mechem, Libby Larsen, Mark Winges, Ted Hearne, Chen Yi, Stacy Garrop, Charles Griffin, Cristián Grases, Judith Shatin, Frank Ferko, Brian Holmes, and David Conte.

“Choral music is a sort of rebelliousness, a movement against a status quo. And what better way is there than a choral setting to surrender your ego to a good cause? People not only give of their time, they also have to adjust their cherished medium of individual expression, the voice. You have to abandon its narcissism for the well-being of the whole ensemble. In this day and age, when there is so much need for selflessness, choral singing provides such an important outlet, artistically and socially.” Martín Benvenuto

His choirs have earned high marks in international competitions in Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Hungary, and Spain. Of particular note are the Third Prize awarded to thePWC at the 2006 Béla Bártok International Choir Competition, one of the most prestigious in the European circuit, and the 2010 Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker award, which recognized WomenSing for programming recently­ composed music that expanded the mission of the chorus and challenged the chorus’s audience in new ways. Benvenuto highly values artistic collaborations: his choirs have collaborated with Veljo Tormis, Joseph Jennings, Karmina Silec and Carmina Slovenica, Charles Bruffy, California Shakespeare Theater, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus.

Benvenuto has prepared choirs for organizations such as the San Francisco Opera, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Redwood Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet in works by Bach, Monteverdi, Britten, Mahler, Holst, Stravinsky, and Orff. Benvenuto also regularly appears as tenor soloist with leading Bay Area ensembles.

Benvenuto holds a D.M.A. in choral conducting from Boston University, where he studied with Ann Howard Jones and the late Robert Shaw. He earned his master’s degree from Westminster Choir College, majoring both in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance and Pedagogy. His undergraduate degrees in choral conducting and composition are from the Universidad Católica Argentina.