Ben Tonmeister

My father took me to his recording sessions since I was a child, maybe 4 or 5 years old. I have witnessed amazing sessions, like Radu Lupu’s Beethoven 5th piano concerto (Emperror), La Traviata with Virginia Zeani or Radu Aldulescu’s Haydn C major cello concerto, to name just a few.


I studied music and the piano for over 10 years before leaving Romania. During the second half of the 70s and beginning of the 80s I have assisted my father in many recordings around Europe.


In the early 1980’s, I studied electrical engineering at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, majoring in acoustics.

In the same period, I started to record and edit classical music on my own, being probably one of the very few to learn to edit digitally before learning to splice analog tapes!


My very first job, was to edit 5 organ albums from different Italian cities (I remember Ferrara and Carrera, but 1982 is a long way back…) on a SONY DAE 1100 digital editor. Just for the young among you, there was no graphic monitoring at all and the cueing was in …8bit! In short you couldn’t hear s..t! Besides, try to edit on this system (or any) an organ’s basso continuo… It was fun!


My first recording was the Bären Gässlin’s Mythomania in the Blansingen church (between Freiburg and Basel), where my father and I recorded many projects due to its pleasant acoustics. Many followed since then, being with the Collegium Aureum, Trio Fontenay, Augsburger Domsingknaben as well as the Israel Philarmonic orchestra conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, especially the Hungarian Rhapsodies.


More recently, I have recorded several Ami Maayani works, Phoenix Ensemble, Modena Consort (in Blansingen again!), Jacob Reuven with the Barrocade Ensemble and later the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, the latest production being the Carmel Quartet’s Ben Chaim quartets and quintets.


I’m working in a one-man-show approach: I am the producer, Tonmeister, sound engineer, technician, carrier and driver! Sometimes, my son Guy is joining me when he finds time (musicians!).