A native of Pennsylvania, Benya Barshai is an active writer, film composer, instructor, multi-instrumentalist, and performing guitarist. Receiving education from Juilliard Pre-College, Berklee College of Music, and Kutztown University’s Grammy Award winning guitarist David Cullen, Barshai’s compositions and performances are a span of diverse styles such as jazz, classical, rock, world, pop, and instrumental beats. Bearing in mind the notion that “music is sound itself,” Barshai has never limited his works to one particular genre or medium.
After obtaining multiple recognitions from the area, including National Association for Music Education (MENC) and GuitarPlayer Magazine, Barshai was commissioned to score music for Russian director Valeri Rubinchik’s 2006 film, “Nanking Landscape,” a MosFilm Production. During this time, his acceptance to study at the Juilliard School under Dr. Ira Taxin allowed Barshai to further develop his compositional techniques. After studying a few semesters at Berklee College of Music, Barshai transferred to Kutztown University to receive his B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies), under the instruction of the educator and mentor, Dr. Kevin Kjos. Benya’s involvement with music exhibits a wide variety of passions which include jazz improvisation, filmscoring, and performance.