BEHIND THE MUSIC OF BEN KNORR
Benjamin Knorr (b. 1996) is a composer for visual media, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer from Regina, Saskatchewan Canada.
Ben grew up in a supportive musical family, often playing guitar and banjo with his brother and sister in their family band the ‘Knorr Kids’ at senior centers, and special functions. Taking guitar lessons from age seven, his musical career really took off in high school. Being an active member in the choir, jazz band, concert band and string orchestra, he had the opportunity to perform at the Banff Rocky Mountain Festival (Banff, Alberta) and Magic Music Days (Disneyland, Anaheim, California), which inspired him to pursue a career in music. In Grade 10, He composed and performed a banjo concerto, which premiered at Musica Sacra at the University of Regina with the Campbell Collegiate String Orchestra. Outside of school, Ben was also the principal French Hornist for the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra.
In 2014, Ben was accepted and awarded the North American Scholarship Tour to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In the spring of 2015, the guitar department awarded him the T-Bone Walker Award. Shortly afterward, he was invited to perform in an acoustic trio on the main stage at Fresh Grass, a bluegrass festival in North Adams, MA, and at the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival in Chattanooga, TN. Ben also accompanied Canadian folk duo, Quinn and Qristina Bachand, at Folk Music Ontario in Canada, and Folk Alliance in Kansas City, MO.
In 2016, Ben was awarded the Sam Eisenson Award for Country Music by the American Roots Department. He also began arranging for the Berklee World Strings, a collaboration he has enjoyed ever since. Through Berklee, he accompanied Wang Leehom on electric guitar at his sold-out show in Boston’s Symphony Hall.
In the fall of 2017, Ben was selected to arrange a medley of Canadian songs for the Berklee YouTube channel in support of the Canadian Radio Music Awards. In the summer, Ben was invited to play at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. with Samantha Robichaud Corkum for Canada Day.
In 2018, Ben graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring and was awarded the Don Wilkins’ Award for Film Scoring, and the Courtney Hartman American Roots Guitar Award (a hand-crafted dreadnaught guitar by Dana Bourgeois, CEO of Bourgeois guitars). At the commencement ceremony, Ben conducted a 30-piece pop ensemble for his arrangement of Rosanne Cash songs. During his time at Berklee, Ben had the privilege to study with Eugene Friesen, Casey Driessen, Tony Trischka, Julian Lage, Bruce Molsky, Maeve Gilchrist, and many other influential educators.
Directly after graduation, he and six other students recorded their score to Universal Pictures’ re-release of the 1928 silent film, The Man Who Laughs and proceeded to premiere it live-to-picture with a chamber ensemble at the San Fransisco Silent Film Festival. Returning home to Canada, Ben worked with Väsen, an internationally recognized Swedish folk band, to transcribe their album Brewed for their third tune book. Later that summer, Ben traveled to Ottawa, ON to be the house accompanist at the 2018 Canadian Grandmasters Fiddle Championships.
Over the years abroad, Ben has maintained strong ties with his Canadian roots. He enjoys teaching at the John Arcand Fiddle Festival and arranging for the Saskatoon Fiddle Orchestra. He has also worked with fiddler Shane Cook on a seven-minute fiddle medley for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and most recently he was commissioned to write a piece for the Campbell Collegiate Wind Ensemble, in which he was a founding member, to celebrate the retirement of Director Scott Peters, Ben’s high school band teacher.
Ben currently lives in Los Angeles, California, and works as a composer, and studio musician, for Audiomachine, a production music company. With Audiomachine, Ben has contributed to many albums including Reimagined, Nomad, Banshee, Insomnia, Viscera, Black Tie, Strummin’ Summer, TouchStone, Exit Strategy, Timber and Tumbleweeds, Fragmented Reality, Punchline, Sticks and Bones, Ritmo De La Gente, Mercenary and Dark Web. His music can also be heard on T.V. spots for Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu), Game of Thrones (HBO UK), and trailers including Over The Moon (Netflix), and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Disney). He is a member of SOCAN.