Christian Felix Benning is one of the leading percussionists of a young and innovative generation of drummers in Germany and “sets off with his ensemble a firework of rhythms and sounds” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
The 23 year-old multipercussionist was chosen as a junior student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich with Adel Shalaby at the age of 13 and has won several competitions such as the Marimba-Festiva Competition Nuremberg in 2010. He subsequently completed his studies in the classes of Peter Sadlo and Arnold Riedhammer from 2014 to 2019. In addition, Christian Felix Benning took part in workshops and masterclasses by Martin Grubinger, Evelyn Glennie, Jost Nickel, Jojo Mayer and Peter Sadlo.
Christian Felix Benning has performed numerous solo concerts at the Philharmonie München, Allianz Forum Berlin, Neues Schloss Stuttgart, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Goodwin Hall Baltimore, Festival The Abbey San Diego, orchestral concerts with Kent Nagano at the Audi Summer Concerts Ingolstadt, Munich Philharmonic, Franz-Schmidt Chamber Orchestra Vienna, Munich Percussion Ensemble and many more. He gained first experience as a soloist as solo timpani and percussionist of the Bayerische Philharmonie.
Following successful performances as member of Simone Rubino’s Esegesi Percussion Quartet at festivals such as Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein, Heidelberger Frühling, Musikfest Bremen and La Folle Journée de Nantes, Christian Felix Benning founded his own percussion ensemble in 2014. The first concerts in Augsburg and Dachau enthused, whereby "the precision of the band was topped only by the joy of playing" (Augsburger Allgemeine). Meanwhile the Christian Benning Percussion Group enraptured audiences in Munich, Karlsruhe, Augsburg, Bad Kissingen, Port Louis and others. Upcoming highlights are Benning’s debuts at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and in Bremen in January 2020 with his ensemble.
As part of his scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation, Christian Felix Benning completed a semester abroad in the percussion class of Robert van Sice at the "Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University" in Baltimore in 2017/18 and attended workshops at the Curtis Institute Philadelphia and at the Yale School of Music. Seminars with artists such as Lang Lang and Leon Fleisher supplemented his artistic education.
The Christian Benning Percussion Group debuts at Bremen Glocke and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on 2 and 3 January presenting music by J.S.Bach, Gerassimez, Xenakis, Albeniz, Cage, Ravel, Chick Corea among others.
We are pleased to announce to have taken on the representation of multipercussionist Christian Felix Benning. Christian Felix Benning is one of the leading percussionists of a young and innovative generation of drummers in Germany.
With exuberant playfulness and confident playing techniques, Christian Felix Benning explored all the melodic and dynamic possibilities of each individual instrument and extended them to unprecedentedly innovative effects. He elicited a multi-movement suite of a snare drum by the use of his arms and hands, including various drumsticks, which themselves turned back into sound producers. [...] In the Black Light Theatre he visualized sounds from the playback in a sort of magic show as synchronously as if they were springing from his hands [...] In duos, trios, quartet and quintet formations with hand percussion, lyrical themes from the vibraphone, singing resonances of the marimba to hot samba his percussion group interacted with a sensitive interplay. Two encores for the fully enthusiastic audience.
Münchner Merkur, Thomas Schaffert, 30.10.2019
Christian Felix Benning is one of the most gifted percussion talents
of our time. Whether drum set, marimba or with a solo drum, Benning
convinces with extraordinary playing culture, rousing rhythms and
unbelievable tempo. Together with the four first-rate young professionals,
the ensemble burned a real musical firework with music by Chick Corea,
Iannis Xenakis and Mark Glendworth. [...] Music by J.S. Bach and Mozart's
"Alla turca" finally drew the audience into standing ovations.
Main Post, Stefan Kritzer, 01.05.2019
The exceptional musical talent Christian Benning and his ensemble set off
a firework of rhythms and sounds [...] Like wings of hummingbirds, the
coloured felt sticks of their mallets flutter on the wooden sound bars of
marimba and drums in Nebojša Jovan Živković's Setup trio. [...] In the
German first performance of Paul Lansk's "Treads" every action is timed,
hands easily reach right and left, whirling the drumsticks like machines at
an impressive speed. Benning's colleagues are just as convincing with their
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Petra Neumaier, 10.02.2019
Christian Felix Benning and his percussionists fully exploited
the range of percussion instruments and made the program
very varied. The stylistic variety ranged from arranged classical
pieces to standard works to a threesome played on one drum or
African sounds. [...] The young musicians showed excellent timing,
sense of rhythm, virtuosity and empathy and played with elan and
with a lot of fun at the music. [...] Stormy applause and bravos.
Münchner Merkur, Susanna Morper, 11.07.2016