Benjamin Beilman from NYC to Memphis
December 16, 2019
Benjamin Beilman, an accomplished violinist and Washington DC native, stopped in Memphis for the first time on November 23rd and 24th as part of his national tour. While in town he was able to do pre and post show interviews.

Beilman told his audience that he has been traveling for 10 years a violin soloist, three of those years being with renowned conductor Robert Moody.

A graduate of Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia, Beilman start playing music when he asked his mother for a violin at the age of five.

Despite his musical aspirations, he describes a ‘ somewhat normal’ childhood of playing soccer and attending public schools. Upon graduating from Curtis at 20 years old, Beilman competed in two international competitions in Montreal and Indianapolis, winning one and being awarded a bronze medal at the other. The recognition from those competitions helped to gain him management in Europe and in New York.

The shows at the Cannon Center and GPAC were called, “The Three B’s! Bach Beethoven and Brahms” and were conducted by Robert Moody. These shows featured Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3, Beethoven Violin Concerto, and Brahms Symphony No. 3 and was played with Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

“I remember going to my mom at the age of 10 or 11 and telling her I’m going to be a professional violinist. This is what I am going to do” - Benjamin Beilman

The Stradivarius violin he used in his performances is on loan from the Nippon Foundation in Japan.

“I applied and sent in my videos, biography, and letters of recommendation, and I didn’t hear anything for a few months...and then they said they had one violin available when can you come to Tokyo,” he said.

At the post-show question and answer, a member of the audience asked how long it took Beilman to memorize his lengthy violin solo, to which he said, “I first played it when I was 15 or 16, and I think there’s something much easier about memorizing music when you’re younger. Generally now when I try to memorize I do it in building blocks.”

It was his third time playing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra ensemble.

“Often with this piece I get really really nervous at the beginning. You have this weight of expectation because this is Beethoven, this is the highest music that there is and it has to be perfect, but there’s something about tonight and working with this orchestra and Bob that it’s...fine.”

Beilman cracked some jokes about having Memphis ribs for lunch and spoke highly of the MSO and of his conductor, Robert Moody.

Mr. Beilman’s handsome technique, burnished sound and quiet confidence…showed why he has come so far so fast. - The New York Times

Strings Sessions: Benjamin Beilman Performs Ysaÿe and Bach Sonatas

Benjamin Beilman stopped by the Strings studio in mid-July before his schedule took him to the Verbier Festival for a performance of Schubert’s Fantaisie D.934. Beilman kicked off the session with the Ysaye’s Sonata No. 4 in E minor, presto ma non troppo, which is dedicated to Fritz Kreisler. He finished the session with Bach’s Sonata No. 3 for Solo Violin in C major, largo, which holds a special place in his heart.

About Benjamin Beilman

Born in 1989, American violinist Benjamin Beilman is winning plaudits across the globe for his compelling and impassioned performances, his deep rich tone and searing lyricism. The Scotsman has described him as “a remarkable talent, delivering playing of rare insight and generosity, as captivating as it is gloriously entertaining” and the New York Times has praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast”.

During the Beethoven celebrations in 2020, Beilman will perform the Beethoven Concerto with the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Janowski, the Wroclaw Philharmonic and their Music Director Guerrero on tour across Poland, the Orchestra Metropolitain (Montreal) with Han-Na Chang and with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in Sokhiev’s closing concert as Musical Director.  Other highlights in 19/20 include debuts with the Danish National Symphony, Gürzenich (Cologne), Tonkünstler (Vienna), Antwerp Symphony orchestras, in the US with the Utah Symphony and Minnesota orchestras, and his return to the London Chamber Orchestra to play/direct.

In past seasons, Beilman has performed with many major orchestras worldwide including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, Sydney Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra both at home and at Carnegie Hall.  In recital and chamber music, Beilman performs regularly at the major halls across the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Louvre (Paris), Philharmonie (Berlin), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo) and at festivals he has performed at eg Verbier, Aix-en-Provence Easter, Prague Dvorak, Robeco Summer Concerts (Amsterdam), Music@Menlo, Marlboro and Seattle Chamber Music amongst others. In early 2018 he premiered a new work dedicated to the political activist Angela Davis written by Frederic Rzewski and commissioned by Music Accord which he has performed extensively across the US.

Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy, and has received many prestigious accolades including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a London Music Masters Award.  He has an exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics and released his first disc ‘Spectrum’ for the label in 2016, featuring works by Stravinsky, Janáček and Schubert. Beilman plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

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