Zoe Beyer to perform Sibelius Violin Concerto
ONE of the UK’s most versatile violinists has agreed to perform the Sibelius violin concerto with Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra in March.
South-African born Zoë Beyers, who now lives in Shrewsbury, performs as soloist, chamber musician, director and orchestral leader across the world. She recently recorded and filmed Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for Sky Arts.
Zoë will be performing Sibelius’ violin concerto with the SSO on March 28 in Shrewsbury Abbey at 7.30pm. The concerto, in D minor, was written in 1904 and is Sibelius’ only concerto. It is notoriously difficult for the solo violin, containing virtuoso sections of extaordinary technical difficulty. The third movement is widely considered one of the greatest concerto movements written for the instrument.
Zoë said: "I’m very excited to play the Sibelius Concerto with the SSO. No other concerto for the violin manages to combine traditional folk fiddle music with technical virtuosity quite as successfully as this one - but the fireworks never get in the way of the music. It’s more of a symphony for violin and orchestra, full of colour and emotion."
Since her solo debut aged eleven with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under Paavo Järvi, Zoë has performed with many distinguished conductors throughout Europe and Africa. Recent highlights include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ A Spell for Green Corn, Sibelius and Korngold concerti with the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, Prokofiev’s 2nd Violin concerto and the Walton concerto with the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra and Michael Seal, and Milhaud’s Cinema Fantaise on Le Boef sur le Toit with the English Symphony Orchestra.
Zoë is the violinist of the internationally renowned Hebrides Ensemble, and also performs, broadcasts and records with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group the Scottish Ensemble, and I Musicanti. She has collaborated with Francois Leleux, Stephen Osborne, Lars Vogt, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Alexander Janiczek, and composers Helen Grime, Oliver Knussen, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir James Macmillan. Her 2017 recording of Maxwell Davies’s late chamber works with the Hebrides Ensemble, entitled The Last Island (for Delphian), has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and attracted top ranking reviews in The Times, The Guardian and BBC Music Magazine. In 2018 Zoë will tour Israel with the Nash Ensemble and record a disc of Scottish composer Nigel Osborne’s chamber works with the Hebrides Ensemble.
The 2017/2018 season sees Zoë performing with the English Symphony Orchestra both as their newly appointed concertmaster and as a director and soloist. Zoë relishes the challenge of directing from the violin: her recording of early Mendelssohn concerti with the University of Stellenbosch Camerata was nominated for a SAMA award in 2011; her 2013 recording of Wassenaer concerti armonici (directing the Innovation Chamber Ensemble for Somm Records) was Classic FM’s CD of the week, and their 2014 disc of rare Elgar works was received with critical acclaim.
As an orchestral leader, Zoë performs regularly with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonicand Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonia, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Aurora Orchestra. She has played as leader on several highly regarded recordings with Andris Nelsons, Juano Mena and John Storgards, most recently on discs of de Falla and Ginastera with Mena and the BBC Philharmonic for Chandos. She is dedicated to performing the music of contemporary composers and is involved in the commissioning and premiering of several new works.