Benkman Noel, US, 2006, 2008

Tour Dates: 11 Apr - 21 Apr, 2008

“Superb performance by pianist Noel Benkman (at the NOW Music Festival)... he shows that rare talent of performing music as if creating it on the spot.”
- 20th Century Music

Noel Benkman

Performs his 4th concert tour of China in 2008. He regularly appears as a solo recitalist, soloist with orchestras, chamber musician, and studio musician. In 2006 he performed a 10-city solo recital tour throughout China. He was first invited to China in 1996 as the "American Olympic Pianist" because he performed the Rhapsody in Blue with the New American Orchestra in the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.  As a studio musician he recorded the Olympics soundtrack for ABC television. In 1996 he performed for 60,000 people at the Qingdao International Festival. For several years he toured with the American flutist Mary Lazarian as part of the Benkman/Lazarian Duo.  In addition to recent recitals in Asia and the United States, he performed two recitals at “Music in the Mountains” in Yosemite National Park.

Mr. Benkman’s CD Yosemite Suite on the Lushtone Records label has received good reviews and has been featured numerous times on American Public Radio. His new solo CD My Beautiful Garden will be released in 2009. Additionally, he has composed and recorded music for several independent films including Here, in the Garden of Eden a documentary about the painter Albert Bierstadt commissioned by the San Francisco De Young Museum, The Missing Key, Passenger, Last Man, 1 or 2 Things About..., The Final Cut, and the theme music for the television series Culture Shock News.

Mr. Benkman is a music professor and teaches music at Chabot College and Gavilan College (in the San Francisco area) and holds degrees in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Stony Brook University. In 2006 Shanxi Art College in Taiyuan, China awarded him Honorary Visiting Professor of Music.

Mr. Benkman is also an eLearning developer.  Since 1998 he has pioneered the development of online education. He teaches Music History and Literature, Introduction to Music, American Cultures in Music, and World Music - all of them completely online. He was one of the original employees at the company Teacher Universe and as Manager of Web Course Development his team received two Codie Award nominations for Best K-16 Education Administration Solution 2003 and Best Online Training Program 2001.

Noel Benkman lives in Orinda, California with his wife Valerie and has two grown sons.


“It was magical - an intimate performance by a talented artist with a celebrated legacy...” 
- The Yosemite Fund 

“Noel Benkman deploys a sensitive coloristic technique on classical piano...”
- Keyboard Magazine

“Mr. Benkman plays with an aplomb and fluidity that only years of experience may allow.”
- 20th Century Music