Benjamin Barshai
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Benjamin Barshai

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Mike Varney's Spotlight"

Guitarist: Benjamin Barshai

Age: 17

Style: Neo-Classical Shred Metal

Influences: Yngwie Malmsteen, Timo Tolkki, Alexi Laiho, Antonio Vivaldi, Paganini, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin

Main Guitar: Ibanez RG7420

Location: Beach Lake, PA

Background: After taking only a few piano lessons, Barshai began to write original music at the age of eight, and won his first award for his composing skills. Later, Barshai joined his middle school jazz band, entered an original piece in the National Competition for Young Composers, and nabbed an award for Original Student Composition. At the age of 16, he composed pieces for the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra, recorded three CDs of original music, and made a soundtrack for a Russian film. Barshai's demo reveals him to be a gifted composer and a highly skilled guitarist who sounds, at times, like Tony MacAlpine and Malmsteen.

- Guitar Player Magazine


City Lights(2004)
The Quest EP(2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Benjamin Barshai was born in March of 1989 and grew up in Pennsylvania on the shore of the scenic Delaware River in a Russian-Jewish family. Inside the home, his father’s woodcarvings and paintings, as well as his mother’s music and songs, gave Ben the Sense and appreciation of art and culture. At home, he was exposed to Yiddish tunes, Russian music, jazz, and most of all, classical music. This atmosphere of beauty and art helped in his development as a composer.

After taking just a few basic piano lessons from his mother, Ben began to flourish in creating original music and had a deep interest in powerful dramatic compositions. At the age of eight, he won first place in the “Reflections” contest for composition through his school. From that day on he was inspired to compose music and to share it with people. Every day, when he came home from school, he would eagerly run to his piano and/or guitar. Much of Benjamin’s early influence included: Vivaldi, Bach, Paganini, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Scarlatti, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Danny Elfman, Philip Glass, and many other great composers. All of these composers produced such beautiful and powerful music that, at times, Ben couldn’t decide which one to listen too.

As Benjamin reached middle school, he took part in the jazz band playing the bass guitar, and then the symphonic/concert ban. Ben’s first composition that was composed for a large orchestra was “The Fallen”, and the piece was performed by his middle school symphonic band. While in middle school, he was a recipient of the Honored Musicians award for his piano compositions from the 2003 Young Artists Competition in Northeast Pennsylvania. His middle school music teacher, Mr. Richard Rusnak suggested that Ben send in a couple of his compositions to a national competition: Original Student Compositions at MENC’s 59th National Biennial In-Service Conference. Without hesitation, Ben went home and produced a rock-jazz piece entitled “Bass Talk” that later was awarded in the competition and his middle school jazz band flew to Minneapolis to perform it at the award ceremony. Ben also completed his caprice “Album for the Children” for piano in 2004.

Benjamin was featured in a two-hour concert/interview on public radio, as well as a Russian TV program in 2004. For the past three years, Ben has composed pieces for a series of annual concerts, “Music of Our Time” by the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra. At the age of 14, Ben wrote his trio “Forest” especially for the orchestra, and subsequent pieces: “Romance for Guitar and Strings” in 2004 and “Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra No.1 in C Minor” in 2005. He also made several CD albums: techno music “City Lights” (2004), several different genres “Elements” (2003), and a CD album that is deeply influenced by neo-classical/symphonic metal “Omen” (2005). Also in 2005, Ben wrote music for a full-length feature Russian film, “Nanking Scenery”, directed by Valeri Rubinchik (ARK-Film Studio). Ben is the first 16 year old composer in the history of Mosfilm (Russian, world-renowned cinema production association) to compose music for a movie.

In the June Issue of Guitar Player Magazine, Benjamin is featured in Mike Varney's Spotlight Column. After the summer of 2006, Barshai will be studying composition in the world known prestigious Conservatory-Juilliard School of Music.

Today, the 17 year old Guitarist/Composer continues to work on many compositions and including his debut "The Quest" that will be released early next year through the great Lion Music Records.