Described as a “passionate and gifted soloist” (Libby Larsen - 2015) with “flawless technique and intuitive musicianship” (Craig Kirchhoff - 2016), Dr. Benjamin Cold is currently Professor of Single Reeds at Bemidji State University, where he teaches applied saxophone and clarinet, single-reed techniques, applied world music and instructs woodwind chamber ensembles including saxophone quartet. As a passionate advocate of new music, he has been involved in the commissions and premieres of dozens of compositions for solo and chamber saxophone, most of which were dedicated to him. His specialty is electroacoustic saxophone, and he works diligently to find creative and unique ways of performing and improvising using live electronics, loop pedals, distortion effects and pre-recorded synthesizer. His work has been performed and recorded on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio, and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Dr. Cold's upcoming album, flux-mirror, is planned for release in August 2018.
Dr. Cold completed his D.M.A. in saxophone performance and pedagogy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he studied with Eugene Rousseau. There he was a recipient of the prestigious Berneking Fellowship, the Cohen Fellowship and instructed undergraduate and graduate saxophone quartets. Benjamin Cold received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and his M.M. from Kansas State University in saxophone performance and pedagogy. During his graduate education, Dr. Cold expanded his studies to include private instruction in conducting, teaching strategies and score study with KSU – Director of Bands, Frank Tracz, and jazz band rehearsal techniques with KSU Director of Graduate Studies, Frederick Burrack. His previous teachers include Anna Wytko, Nancy Mcmillan and Greg Keel.
Dr. Cold's clarinet accomplishments include performing as an ensemble member and soloist with the Mankato Symphony, the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Symphony. Dr. Cold maintains an active clarinet studio in the Twin Cities, MN, as well as recruits and maintains a collegiate clarinet studio at Bemidji State. He consistently participates as a guest clinician and performer at festivals including the International Clarinet Association - ClarinetFest and the annual American Single Reeds Summit.
As a devoted pedagogue and scholar, Dr. Cold maintains an active teaching and performing schedule throughout the United States and Internationally. Throughout his professional career, he has held residencies, taught master classes and given guest recitals and performances in Canada, France, Germany, Belgium and Ireland as well as many of the Nation’s top academic institutions including, but not limited to the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and the University of North Texas.
Benjamin Cold is a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist and plays on Selmer Series III saxophones. He is also an E-Rousseau Mouthpieces and Legere Reeds Performing Artist and Clinician.