Hello all – it’s been so long since I’ve sent you an update! I’ve had a busy, wonderful, rejuvenating summer and I’m really looking forward to new musical projects and ideas.
Before I get into all the good stuff that’s already happened, I wanted to let you know I’ll be heading to France on Tuesday for almost 2 weeks for two special concerts with Duo Transatlantique and our friends Duo Amaral. We’ll be splitting the concerts, and ending them with a quartet – an arrangement of Boccherini’s “Fandango” Guitar quintet. This is also part of what we’ll be performing in December for the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society’s 25th anniversary concert.
Now for the summer reviews! On June 3rd, I performed the real arrangement of the Boccherini, as well as Quartteto 15 by Paganini with the amazing Kennedy Center Chamber Players for the first half of a sold-out concert featuring Christoph Eschenbach, the music director and conductor of the NSO. The next day the Washington Post wrote a great review of the concert, including this: “In both works, Benjamin Beirs contributed rounded, mellow tone on the guitar, featuring notably clean left-hand work and sensitive phrasing.”
Also, I’m happy to say “Widening Circles” has now received four amazing reviews. I’ll post some excerpts of each, and feel free to check out the link to each below. Enjoy the rest of your summer everyone, and here’s to new music!
Classical Guitar Canada
“I’m impressed with this album for its conceptual programming as well as Beirs’ exceptionally clear and stylistic performance. Beirs is doing interesting things on guitar and will be a name to watch out for. I highly recommend this album to anyone who wants to see a side of classical guitar that is very approachable as well as modern in its mix of styles and moods.” -Bradford Werner, Classical Guitar Canada – full review here
The Sacramento Bee
“Summer may be the best season for exploring new music. And this year has seen a strong crop of new and interesting recordings that are tailor-made for expanding musical horizons…A new generation of classical guitarist is coming onto the music scene – and many no longer hew to the dogma of the Segovia era. One of those is the supremely talented Benjamin Beirs.” -Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee – full review here
Fanfare Magazine #1
“Awakened Awareness is Beirs’s own composition and its style is somewhat similar to those of the composers we just heard, but it has its own distinctive melodic voice. His cooling chords provide a certain calmness in the midst of otherwise fiery music, and it’s most welcome. I hope to hear more of his pieces…The music on this disc reaches the listeners ears in smooth and clear sonics with the pleasant ambiance of an intimate concert hall.” Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine – full review here
Fanfare Magazine #2
“Benjamin Beirs, too, is ‘one’ with his instrument, and that identification, coupled with his all-embracing virtuosity, makes Widening Circles a complete success. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by predicting that we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the future.” – Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine – full review here