Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “a true virtuoso of his instrument”, Justin Benavidez is the Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the Eastman School of Music.
He previously held a tenured faculty position at Florida State University. In the summer, he teaches and performs at the Round Top Summer Music Festival in Round Top, Texas and at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California. Benavidez has performed across North America, Europe, and Japan.
He has been featured numerous times on Performance Today. His debut solo album Emblems won Silver Medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the 2018 Global Music Awards.
The International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal described it as “an impressive and highly entertaining record” on which Benavidez “shreds with enthusiasm, exuberance, and precision”.
His second album Storyteller won Silver Medals in the Classical Album and Solo Instrumentalist categories of the 2022 Global Music Awards and was named a finalist for the 2023 ITEA Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording. Fanfare Magazine described the album as “splendidly eloquent […] a masterclass in expressiveness” with a sound that is “gloriously warm and comforting”.
As an orchestral musician, Benavidez has performed as tubist with the symphony orchestras of Charleston, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Rochester, Santa Fe, Sarasota, Tallahassee, and Utah.
Benavidez has been a prizewinner of multiple international solo competitions. He is the only tubist to have been awarded the New Horizons Fellowship and the Orchestral Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival where he was a student for six summers, held the principal tuba chair in the festival orchestra, and was the winner of the prestigious Aspen Music Festival concerto competition.
Benavidez was the distinguished recipient of the Horace H. Rackham Merit Fellowship for doctoral studies at the University of Michigan and was presented with the 2019 UM Paul Boylan Award for outstanding accomplishments and significant contributions in the field of music.
As a scholar, Benavidez was awarded the McKnight Faculty Fellowship to complete his research on the most significant solo repertoire for tuba, culminating in a critical volume that will be published by Oxford University Press. He serves as editor-in-chief for the ITEA Journal and was the editor for Flow Studies through Mountain Peak Music, a daily routine regimen for tuba.
As one of today’s leading educators, Benavidez is frequently invited to present master classes and perform as a guest recitalist at preeminent universities, workshops, and conferences. Notable invitations have included Indiana University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan, the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, the Bern University of the Arts in Switzerland, the Lyon Conservatory of Music, the Paris Conservatory of Music, the United States Army Band Tuba Euphonium Workshop, and multiple International Tuba Euphonium Conferences.
He was awarded the Florida State University Teaching Award in 2021. Benavidez’s students have distinguished themselves through numerous accomplishments and awards, including first place prizes at international competitions, performing positions in premier military bands and orchestras, and teaching positions at secondary and collegiate institutions.
Benavidez is a Buffet Crampon/Melton Meinl Weston performing artist and Denis Wick performing artist.