The American cellist, Benjamin [Ben] Hildner, was born to parents who were both musicians and who later chose different career paths. At 3 years old, he sat down at a piano but soon realized it was not his thing, so at 8, he turned his attention to the cello. Hildner said he knew at an early age that the business of music could go either way - you could struggle or your could become successful. But by his senior year at Highland Park High School in Chicago, even before be began to win competition after competition, he knew in his heart that he was destined for a life in music. "I remember making that decision toward the beginning of my senior year and I remember feeling a lot of pressure because here I was making a big career decision at 18," Hildner said.
Ben Hildner was the winner of both the Evanston and Highland Park Music Club Competitions, and a four-time winner of the Highland Park/Deerfield High School Concerto Competition. He also was featured in recital at the Young Steinway Series at the Skokie Public Library. His competitive side came out during the last year of high school. He won the Chicago Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, the Northwest Symphony Concerto Competition and was a featured performer in the Music in the Loft Series' young artists recital and has won many more since. During that same year, he was also the recipient of the John Venzon Memorial Scholarship at the Music Institute of Chicago where he worked with Gilda Barston and Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also received extensive coaching from David Dunford.
During his high school years, Ben was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and their select chamber orchestra, the Encore Chamber Orchestra; he held first desk positions in both these ensembles. Ben also was Principal Cellist of the American Chamber Strings at the Music Institute of Chicago. In addition, he has held first desk positions in the District and State Honors Orchestras of the Illinois Music Educators Association.
After graduating from high school, Hildner headed for the West Coast where he has spent the last four years (2001-2004 ?) honing his skills at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) under the wing of fellow cellist, performer and music professor La Cañada Flintridge resident Eleonore Schoenfeld. In February 2005, Hildner, 21, entered the Burbank Philharmonic's Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition because he wanted to get more competition experience and ended up taking top honors on his first try.
Ben wildner moven then to Europe, where he worked with Moore Europe Capital Management, Bachwoche Berlin and Ensemble "Les Alchimistes Berlin", Deutsche Oper Berlin, Currently he is MBA Candidate - USC Marshall School of Business - Class of 2015.