Dr. Benjamin Harding
Canadian pianist, Benjamin Harding, was born and raised in Dipper Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada, a small fishing village on the Bay of Fundy. At an early age he studied piano with his grandmother Juanita Spragg and then finished the Associate Diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Carol O’Neil. While studying with Samuel Hsu at Cairn University, he completed Bachelor Degrees in Bible and piano performance. Benjamin has a Masters Degree and Professional Studies Certificate in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Nina Svetlanova. He studied with Bradford Gowen at the University of Maryland, College Park where he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree.
Dr. Harding is Associate Professor of Music at Cairn University, Langhorne, PA where he is Director of Music Outreach Programs and Director of the Cairn Community School of the Arts. New initiatives this coming season include a residency of the Ying String Quartet, a Choral Music Educators’ Collective and an Instrumental Music Educators’ Collective. He is a guest conductor at high school band and choral festivals and was recently a featured conductor at the Fanwood Choral Festival.
Since 2008, he has been Music Director of Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Newark, DE. As music director, he oversees the entire music program which includes choirs, bell choirs, worship band and ensemble, an extensive concert series, music ministry internship program and musical educational opportunities for the community.
As a chamber musician he has collaborated with such artists as violinists, Anthea Kreston and Benjamin Shute, and cellist, Kangho Lee. He has recently been seen in performances in Paris, Hartford, New York, Rochester, College Park and at the Caramoor Festival. He has appeared on CBC radio and has garnered awards from the Province of New Brunswick in piano. At the University of Maryland, College Park, he was given the award of Distinguished Teaching Assistant in the Graduate Arts and Sciences School for his work in furthering the class piano program. He was formally on staff at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford as a collaborative pianist. He is a member of MTNA.
He met his wife Marji at the Csehy Summer School of Music where they teach each summer. They have three boys – Karsten, Jonathan, and Micah.
Ephraim Schäfli has completed studies at Cairn University (B.Mus. in Piano Performance and B.S.in Bible) and Temple University (M.M. in Historical Musicology).
At Cairn, he studied with Dr. Samuel Hsu with whom he also collaborated in duet concerts and lectures, including pre-concert lectures to the Rittenhouse Square Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ephraim was a music intern at the Library of Congress and was featured as soloist with the Cairn University Wind Ensemble in Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. He has premiered works by composers Raoul Pleskow, Ryan Carson, and Joshua Devine and performed in master classes with Samuel Adler and Charles Abramovic.
Ephraim currently teaches at Temple University, Music Training Center, and serves as director of the Cairn Community Arts Academy.