Benton Roark

Benton Roark’s music has been described as “ardent and soaring” (The National Post),  “divergent” and “trippy” (The Vancouver Observer), and “a dark and interior vision” (The Georgia Straight). His work has been commissioned at home and abroad by companies and ensembles such as Tapestry Opera, Triplepoint Trio, the Bozzini Quartet, retheatre, the Victoria Guitar Trio, and the Erasmus Foundation. Roark has also enjoyed critical acclaim as a performer of his own music as a bandleader and solo artist (“a crafty folk experimentalist”, Creative Loafing Atlanta). Over the past few years Roark has worked increasingly in the experimental music theatre realm with projects such as Shadow Catch (“an evocative score”, The Bulletin), Songs from the Rainshadows Edge (“a dream-like state”, Musetta Stone), and Tap:Ex Revolutions (“a fluid, riveting experience” Schmopera). Current projects include work with Toronto’s Tapestry Opera, Vancouver’s Fugue Theatre, and Chicago’s Striding Lion Performance Group. Roark’s work can be heard on a number of recordings, including the Bozzini Quartet’s À chacun sa miniature, Mark Takeshi McGregor’s Sins and Fantasies, Arkora’s Songs from the Rainshadows Edge, and three records of original work with Rollaway and The Benton Roark Band (“dirty-southern-gothic-rock-country-folk”, Discorder Magazine). A tireless arts advocate, he has held directorships with non-profits such as Vancouver Pro Musica and Redshift Music Society, and he is currently Co-Artistic Director of Arkora Music. Roark holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory and the University of British Columbia, and he has been a resident artist at the Banff Centre, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, where he was co-recipient of the Tournon Branley Prize for collaborative work in architecture and music.