Cara Benner

Role: Assistant Librarian

Education: B.M. in Oboe Performance and B.A French from Chapman University

Hometown: San Marcos, CA

Joined the CSO in 2022

Professional Experiences: Library Assistant at Pacific Symphony (2021-2022), Ensemble Library Intern at Interlochen Arts Camp (2021 and 2022)

Family: I have two wonderful parents and a younger (also wonderful) brother, all in California.

Where do you draw inspiration from as a musician? My fantastic colleagues! In addition to working backstage during shows, I make it a point to try and attend as many subscription concerts as I can. During my first CSO concert (Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Louis Langrée), I remember sitting in the audience and thinking, “I cannot believe I get to work with this orchestra!” I still think that every time I hear them play. I also find the outdoors to be very rejuvenating, so spending time outside gets me ready to tackle the next big library project.

Favorite orchestral work? For many years, my favorite work was Tchaikovsky 6, but I don’t know that I could pick just one now. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff are probably my top two favorite composers, with Chopin and Puccini tied for third. Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Mahler Symphony No. 1 are also high up on my list.

What's on your playlist? I listen to some indie, pop, and classical, but I definitely have rock on the most. ELO and Queen are my all-time favorites.

What are your favorite things to do in Cincinnati? There’s mostly palm trees back home, so I’ve really been enjoying exploring the various parks Cincinnati has to offer. I’m still shocked every Fall when the leaves start to change color!

Favorite food? Indian, Mexican and sushi

Hobbies outside of music? I love cycling, yoga, and traveling. I’ve recently started car camping too, and that’s been a great way to get out of the city. I’m also a huge reader! My favorite genres are fantasy and mystery.

Fun fact: My secret superpower is that I never use bookmarks when reading – I can always find my place almost immediately! Fortunately, I can do this with scores, too.