The greatest fun in my whole week with the Columbus Symphony was Benjamin Ramirez playing the opening of Haydn’s Drum Roll Symphony. Each night he improvised a new Intrada to the delight of me and the audience. Top notch playing in every way. ~ Nicholas McGegan


In Richard Strauss’ Burleske, Hamelin showed himself to be an artist in his prime, melding technique and interpretation seemingly without effort…The orchestra was a respectful accompanist, and from its midst timpanist Benjamin Ramirez was a convincing foil to Hamelin’s solo piano , nabbing by stealth the final word. ~ Jennifer Hambrick



Tuesday’s concert ended with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring…The balances were extraordinary: never before had I heard distinctions between the dual timpanists delineated so plainly…Yet the account was not a thing of parts, but rather a seamless, compelling whole. ~ Steve Smith

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Maazel and the NSO made the most of the piece, such as it is. The Scherzo section had biting energy, with fine playing by [Benjamin Ramirez] on timpani. ~ Robert Battey




One thing [Leonid Hambro] patently knows is how Bartok’s music should go.  And, throughout this concert, so did his younger colleagues Robert Merfeld (piano)…Timothy Genis and Benjamin Ramirez (percussion). ~ Richard Buell