Jonas Benson is pursuing his Master of Music degree in Viola Performance at Northwestern University, where he studies with Roland Vamos. He grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where he began studying viola with Laurie Bastian at the age of six. He went on to study with Tom Turner, Principal Violist of the Minnesota Orchestra, and he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the University of Minnesota. Benson is Principal Violist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and is a member of the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. He has also performed with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Texas Festival Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Valley Orchestra, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Exultate, and The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists.
As a violist in MusiCorps, Benson has brought music to students and community members in schools and parks throughout Chicago. He has also led sectionals for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. He has played in committed chamber groups throughout his career, and his coaches have included Tom Rosenberg, Lydia Artimiw, Mathias Tacke, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Benson has given several solo recitals, and has appeared as a soloist with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra. He has won awards in the Schubert Club’s Bruce P. Carlson Scholarship Competition, the Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition, and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition; and he was awarded the William Hester Memorial Scholarship. Influenced by his own great teachers and colleagues, Benson enjoys teaching and inspiring young musicians. He teaches viola, and is a coach for the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra’s Quartet Project.