Concert pianist Benita Rose is in frequent demand as a performer, having played on three continents over the decades and receiving international acclaim for her YouTube and FaceBook concert videos. She relocated to Prescott, Arizona, from Avon, Connecticut during the summer of 2018 and accepted the position of organist/pianist at American Lutheran Church and in 2019, the position of piano professor at Yavapai College. Upon arriving in Prescott, she was piano soloist on the 2018-2019 Prescott Chorale Concert Series, performed the Gershwin Concerto in F with the Central Arizona Concert Band, performed the Grieg Piano Concerto, and Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto, with the Yavapai Orchestra, Beethoven’s 3rd Concerto with the Prescott Chamber Orchestra and performed on the St. Luke’s Concert Series. She gives solo recitals often and has received acclaim for concertos by Mozart, Liszt, and Schumann. Her Gershwin Concerto performance as soloist with the U.S.Coast Guard Band has been heard on over 200 radio stations on Martin Goldsmith’s “Performance Today”. Ms. Rose has performed at Symphony Space in New York City where she has premiered new music.
Together with husband saxophonist Tony Gibbs, the Rose-Gibbs Duo were top prize winners in the professional division of the International Chamber Music and Ensembles Competition in Boston in 2008. Most recently they performed at the North ‘American Saxophone Alliance Biennial National Symposium.
In Connecticut, Ms. Rose ran a successful piano studio, “Rose International Piano Conservatory,” where she enjoyed developing many prize winning students. Formerly a lecturer in piano at the University of Connecticut, she taught at Moravian College in Pennsylvania as a member of Summertrios faculty, the Orford Center for the Arts in Canada, and at the Pomfret School. She has given masterclasses for Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association, and for Rami Bar-Niv’s Rhapsody music camp in New York. Ms.Rose was a founding member of the Hop River Chamber Players in Andover, Connecticut with whom she performed for many years. She was an accompanist for the Aldo Parisot Cello Competition and Festival in Brazil and performed in Latvia right before it gained its freedom that same year.
Ms. Rose has served as pianist/organist at Bethany Lutheran Church in West Hartford, Connecticut, director of music ministries in Avon, Connecticut, assistant organist at St. Joseph’s Church in Shelton, Connecticut, and pianist/organist of the First Congregational Church of Willimantic, Connecticut.
Renowned composer Franklin Ashdown composed and dedicated his “Toccata and Recessional on ‘Melita’ “ to her after discovering Ms. Rose’s Youtube videos. Composer Marcos Fernandez-Barrero has given her high praise for her interpretation of his works, including “Wonderer” and “Fountains” from Underscore.
Composer Anthony Giamanco has praised her collaborative piano interpretations in his works as part of the Rose-Gibbs Duo.
Ms. Rose has been in demand as a presenter at piano conferences nationwide. Her topics include teaching what’s unteachable in music as well as strengths of the neurodiverse student. She has also presented “Lessons from the Bench”, a talk on what she has learned from being a lifelong performer. Her latest presentation is “New Techniques for Old Stumbling Blocks.”
Ms. Rose holds a MMus. degree from the Hartt School where she was recipient of the prestigious Parker Award, and a BMus from the University of Connecticut where she was accepted as a scholarship student at age13, winning the MTNA State Piano Competition and University Concerto Competition not long afterwards, launching her solo career. Ms. Rose’s piano teachers have included Menahem Pressler and Emmanuel Ax, Luiz de Moura Castro, Joseph Villa and Louis Crowder. Others include Irma Vallecillo, Ilana Vered, and Alan Fraser. Her pedagogical lineage can be traced to Beethoven and Liszt. Always willing to accept new students because of her intense love of teaching, Ms. Rose is a champion of young musicians and displays unflagging devotion to all who study with her. She publishes her Piano Tips by Benita Rose on Facebook in hopes of helping anyone who wants to learn.