Maestro Ben Byung-Hyun Rhee, Music Director and founder of Camerata New Jersey, has gained extensive recognition and an impressive résumé throughout his career. He served as Associate Conductor to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for five years, leading concerts with renowned soloists such as Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Itzhak Perlman, Glenn Dicterow, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Maestro Rhee has been widely acknowledged for his innate ability to conduct orchestras, and is regarded as one of the most gifted young conductors in America. He has been honored with the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award, selected from a pool of nearly three hundred conductors nationwide, and has been recognized as an emerging artist to watch by SYMPHONY magazine.
Maestro Rhee is a frequent guest conductor of many orchestras, including the Tennessee Philharmonic, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Korea’s prestigious Korean Broadcasting Symphony (KBS), the Tae-Jeon City Philharmonic, the Korean Symphony, the Chungnam State Philharmonic Orchestra (where he served as Music Director/Conductor for three years before his appointment in Nashville), and the Lautus Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in New York City in October 1995.
As an opera conductor, Maestro Rhee has directed performances with the Nashville Opera Company and New Jersey State Opera, re-orchestrated Opera L’Amiraglio Yi Sun Sin and conducted its world premiere. He has also conducted annual performances of The Nutcracker with the Huntsville Ballet and Symphony. In addition, he has produced and conducted a new operatic version of Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue and a newly invented ‘Webpera’ version of L’Elisir D’Amore with Opera Camerata, where he serves as Music Director.
Maestro Rhee has initiated and managed several new projects in recent years. He established the Camerata Youth Orchestra and Choir in Fall 2012, which had its first inaugural concert in the summer of 2013. He also founded the Camerata Artists International Competition in 2011, the Prima Volta Music Competition in 2017, and the New York Young Virtuoso Competition in 2020 to support and cultivate talented young musicians. The winners perform at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall. Additionally, he founded the Camerata Men’s Choir in 2015, a mixed choir of both professional and amateur singers, which has been recognized as one of the greatest vocal groups in the New York Metropolitan area.