Press

“Benjamin Makino, a young conductor, had the most difficult job. He needed to make all these disparate parts feel part of the same unreal world. He succeeded.”
— Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times

“The instrumentalists of La Brea Sinfonietta under Benjamin Makino do exceptionally well with Abel’s hybrid style….”
— Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News [Review of Home is a Harbor on Delos Records]

“Benjamin Makino, who deftly navigated the shoals of 2011’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, conducts the seven member ensemble with a steady, not pushy, propulsion that eases smoothly in and out of the more overtly expressive sequences”
— George Wallace, A Fool in the Forest

“The Lyris Quartet floated and flittered unperturbedly. Benjamin Makino, unseen (except on monitors by the performers), conducted solidly, keeping the widespread performers easily in sync.”
Timothy Mangan, Opera News [Review of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field]

“Makino was the one who lent pathos and weight to the performance with his subtle and informative gestures. He was the only of the three conductors who dared to see into the eyes of the soloist, and was able to become a real partner to her in the performance.”
— János Malina, Muzsika of Pierrot Lunaire at the 2011 Bartók Festival

“David Lang scored the piece [The Difficulty of Crossing a Field] for string quartet, specifically the Kronos Quartet in the original production.  (In Long Beach, the score receives a highly capable and sympathetic treatment at the hands of the Lyris Quartet, conducted by Benjamin Makino.)”
— George Wallace, A Fool in the Forest

“All in all, it was a mesmerizing performance… Enormous credit is due to all the creative personalities listed below, especially conductor Benjamin Makino (who was invisible to me except via a small TV monitor I spied)”
— David Gregson, Opera West on Long Beach Opera’s The Paper Nautilus

“…its [Tell Tale Heart] execution (lots of percussion!) by the What’s Next? Ensemble under the direction of Benjamin Makino was exciting — even overwhelming.”
— David Gregson, Opera West on Long Beach Opera’s Tell Tale Heart

“Only one of the six scenes is entirely instrumental, and here again, praise is due to Makino and his superb ensemble, no stranger to the piece it seems.”
— David Gregson, Opera West on Long Beach Opera’s Van Gogh

“The instrumentalists here as well as for “Tell-Tale Heart” are members of the What’s Next Ensemble, a group of young L.A. musicians who played with panache and were vividly conducted by Benjamin Makino.”
— Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times on Long Beach Opera’s Tell Tale Heart

“The orchestra and chorus were subtly and propulsively led by Benjamin Makino, overcoming a difficult placement at the far end of an acoustically challenging room.”
— George Wallace, A Fool in the Forest on Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth

“The stormy but well controlled tempi of Makino were memorable…”
— János Malina, Muzsika of Bartók Piano Concerto No. 1 at the 2012 Bartók Festival

“The younger soloists, many from the current crop of performers in the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program — including conductor Benjamin Makino, who conducted two scenes — proved hugely talented”
— The Washington Times

“…It was heartening to see the generous response he elicited from Domingo, who all but ran after him into wings to bring him back out for an ovation.”
— Tim Page, The Washington Post

Feature in the Vox Popular section of RSVP Magazine in Memphis