Benjamin Wolff has been an adjunct assistant professor of music at Hofstra and a member of the Hofstra String Quartet since 1998. He is a professional cellist, performing regularly with renowned New York ensembles such as Sinfonia New York and Concert Royal. As one of the first participants in a double degree program established by The Juilliard School and Columbia University, he studied cello and chamber music with Joel Krosnick and The Juilliard String Quartet, and graduated with a B.A. in history from Columbia College. From 1993 to 1995, he was a fellow at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center, and was awarded its C.D. Jackson Prize for Excellence in 1994. He earned an M.M. from Rice University as a student of Norman Fischer.
In addition to his work as a performing musician, Professor Wolff is deeply committed to broadening the important connections between the worlds of the arts, sciences, and business. In 1997 he co-founded the Foothills Music Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For nine years he led the festival as cellist and co-artistic director as it presented a celebrated series of summer performances, lectures, and symposia at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art and the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art.
His experience with interdisciplinary learning and thinking has led him to speak on subjects ranging from creativity to teamwork. A recent presentation he delivered at the 18th international conference of the Center for Collaborative Organizations was titled “The Art of Teams: Lessons in Self Direction From the World of the Arts.” In June and October 2008 he spoke at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence conferences in San Diego and Toronto with a presentation titled “The Paradox of Creativity: How a Classical String Quartet Uses a LEAN Strategy to Get From Rehearsal to Performance.” In April 2009 he was the keynote speaker at the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Galileo’s Muse has been presented as part of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Science and the Arts series, Hofstra’s IDEAS Institute, Salisbury University in Maryland, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s 2009 national conference, and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.