Born in East-Berlin, Eva Beneke was drawn to music via her father´s guitar collection. She also demanded a piano to accompany her repertoire of socialist children´s songs, a wish that was met in form of a tiny red toy-piano at age 3.
Her music studies started with a foundation in theory and performance of classical music, complemented by weekly escapades as lead guitarist and song-writer for the pop/jazz band “Colores de Mellow”, a formation that survived her teenage years by a few more and led to some local fame in the Pankow district of her hometown Berlin. Eva went on to study classical guitar with one of Germany’s most influential guitarist: Thomas Müller-Pering. His mentorship and friendship sparked a love for chamber-music and a fascianation with higher education, and is invaluable to her to this day. During those years at the “Franz Liszt-Hochschule” in Weimar, her days consisted of 6-8 hour practice sessions, long nights of arranging art-songs by Schubert and suites by Bach to the guitar, sight-reading sheet-music with other musicians and the satisfaction denying the existence of a world outside the practice-room.
What makes this musician stand out is her openness to all styles and pathways of music. Seminal collaborations with rapper Dessa, country-singer Carrie Underwood or conductor Kent Nagano are part of her growing portfolio. A tested performer, accompanist, arranger and composer, she nurtures her many musical interests while staying true to her instrument, the classical guitar. With three records under her belt, and a new release with Spanish music for voice and guitar (with mezzo soprano Nerea Berraondo) anticipated for 2016, she is one of the most sought-after chamber-musicians of her field.
A passionate educator, Eva has taught music to every age-group from kindergarten to seniors, from teaching beginning guitar classes in crime-ridden South Central L.A. to currently being a full-time classical guitar instructor at McNallySmith College of Music in Minnesota.
Much like the Berlin wall, her shyness towards the music industry crumbled when Eva moved to L.A. in 2007. Nowadays, this musical entrepreneur self-produces her records, endorses string-brands and guitar companies, writes her own legal contracts, publishes books and has been invited to speak to University students in the U.S. and Germany alike about the working realities of the musical profession.
In Lowertown, Saint Paul, Eva Beneke is the artistic director of the monthly chamber music series “LOWERTOWN CLASSICS”.
In her spare-time, Eva has dances tango and makes a lovely tiramisu (or so her friends say).