Ben Sieben, Piano
Ben Sieben is a versatile pianist working in Houston, specializing in Collaborative Piano (piano accompaniment, and vocal coaching). While possessing much experience in jazz, rock, contemporary christian music, traditional church music, and country music, Ben’s career now centers around the classical music world: choral music, opera, chamber music, and duo collaboration. He has done work for various institutions and organizations around Houston, including Houston Grand Opera Co, Operativo, Houston Saengerbund, Lone Star College, the GHA Music Theater Auditions, Houston’s First Baptist Church, and the Houston Symphony Chorus. He also recently completed a series of solo piano concerts in the Greater Houston Area.
Ben holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Houston Baptist University and the University of Utah respectively as well as a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado Boulder. His teachers have included Melissa Marse, Heather Conner, Jeremy Reger, Margaret McDonald, and Alexandra Nguyen.
Ben is passionate about collaborating with other music makers in various environments. He loves to help young musicians grow in their sense of musicality, life, and musical teamwork. When not at the piano, Ben also enjoys running, skiing, craft beer, Houston’s food scene, and travel. Choir tours and mission trips have taken him to Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Quebec, and Kenya.
Christoph Wagner, Cello
Christoph Wagner, a native of Germany, is a prize-winning cellist and sought-after pedagogue and lecturer who enjoys a diverse, international career. He received first prizes at the German Youth Competition Jugend Musiziert, won the competition Ribalta Mozart Italia in Italy, as well as the Peter-Pirazzi-Competition in Germany in 2013, and was prizewinner of the National Society of Arts and Letters competition in Bloomington, Indiana in both 2016 and 2017. He was scholarship holder from the Richard-Wagner-Verband Frankfurt, the LIONS-Club Karlsruhe, and the Theodor-Rogler Foundation for Young Musicians. As a member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Wagner performed in major concert halls in Europe such as the Berlin Philharmonie and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under renowned conductors including Jonathan Nott, Lothar Zagrosek and Stefan Asbury. He played in the Gürzenich-Orchestra/Opera Cologne in the 2013 – 2014 season and has performed on festivals in Switzerland, Croatia, France, Italy, South Africa, South America, China, South Korea and the US. He has been a passionate music ambassador as fellowship holder from Live Music Now – Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in Germany and as a musician of Classical Connections in Bloomington, Indiana where he played numerous concerts in underserved areas. In 2018 he received the Sviatoslav Richter Grant from Rice University for outreach concerts in public schools, and participated in a summer residency with Los Angeles Street Symphony. He was a Young Artist Fellow of DA CAMERA Houston from 2018 to 2020, and received the Amici di Via Gabina Fellowship from Rice University for research and performances in Italy in 2019.
Christoph Wagner received a Bachelor of Music at the University of Music Frankfurt, a Master of Music at Indiana University, and recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He was a graduate research fellow at Houston Methodist Research Institute to conduct his doctoral research focusing on injuries and injury prevention in orchestral musicians. Wagner has taught as adjunct faculty of music at Lone Star College in Houston since 2018 and will start as Assistant Professor of Cello at University of New Mexico in August 2023