Merit School of Music

Ben Bauer

Faculty: Cello


Indiana University Jacobs School of Music || Master of Music, 2022.
University of Wisconsin Mead Witter School of Music || Bachelor of Music, 2019.


Growing up in Milwaukee, WI inspired by Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performances, Ben Bauer began playing cello at the age of eight. With the help of teachers Barbara Ballin and Greg Mathews, he found his lifelong passion and performed with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO.) He went on to study cello performance with Uri Vardi at the University of Wisconsin: Madison Mead Witter School of Music, and with Peter Stumpf at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Ben Bauer performed as a Section Cellist with the Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra, UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Savoyards, Indiana University Orchestras, and Carmel Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he premiered several new orchestral and chamber works during his time at UW and IU. He was selected by UW-Madison faculty to perform with his piano trio at his UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music Graduation Ceremony in 2019.

Mr. Bauer has been on the Merit School of Music faculty since 2022, teaching group classes with the Merit Music in Communities (MMiC) program and teaching private lessons. His philosophy centers around teaching wholistically, taking time to get to know each individual student so that he can best assist them in establishing their technique and finding their own artistic voice.

Favorite Song:

I love Jacqueline Du Pre’s recording of Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch. It’s one of the first pieces I remember being moved by as a young student, and to this day I return to Du Pre’s recordings for inspiration.


“I learned so much about collaboration, about the world, about authentic expression of emotions, and about myself through studying music and performing as a cellist. I hope everyone has the opportunity to experience that for themselves. I was fortunate enough to have the resources growing up to dive deep into this field, and I’m happy to contribute to an organization that’s dedicated to bringing these resources to a student body that’s aligned with the diverse population of Chicago.”

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