Benjamin Firer

Visiting Assistant Professor


Benjamin Firer directs the Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Theatre and teaches music theory. Along with his duties at NIU, Firer actively serves as a conductor throughout the Midwest, including the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra in Iowa, and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois.

Firer is passionate about inspiring the next generation of musicians. He previously held teaching posts at Yale University, Pennsylvania State University, Merit School of Music, Juniata College, Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania, and Northwestern University.

Firer was selected as an Emerging Conductor with the Peninsula Music Festival and as the Conducting Fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival. He has garnered awards including The American Prize in Conducting, The Woolsey Concerto Competition, Yale Chamber Music Competition, Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, and the Long Island University Conductors Award. Recognized for his musical entrepreneurship, he was awarded the SUNY Thayer Fellowship in the Arts and the Emma Peters Hooper Endowed Award.

As a guest conductor, Firer has made appearances with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony, Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Fargo-Morehead Symphony, Orchestra de la Francophonie, Northwestern University Opera Theatre, Alice Millar Brass Ensemble, and New Music New Haven. In demand as a clinician for school and youth orchestras, he collaborates regularly with the Midwest Young Artists, Merit School of Music, The People’s Music School, McHenry County Youth Orchestras and CPS All-City Orchestras.

His primary conducting teachers include Victor Yampolsky, Gerardo Edelstein and Toshiyuki Shimada.


D.M.A., Northwestern University
M.M., Yale University


  • NIU Philharmonic
  • Opera Theatre
  • Music Theory
  • Orchestration
  • Advanced Orchestral Conducting
  • Orchestral Literature



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