The Rising Star of Violinist Benjamin Beilman

May 4, 2015

American violinist Benjamin Beilman is making his mark in recitals and as soloist in orchestral programs, both at home and abroad. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the 25-year-old Curtis graduate enthusiastically embraces a wide range of music. Beilman performs Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm.

Radio script:

SL: Benjamin Beilman plays Mendelssohn and other masters of the past and present with equal gusto.

BB: I rarely think of pieces as...this is a 21st-century or 19th-century piece. Ideally, all are music. You have the same techniques, the same approach, the same regard, most importantly...it's all part of a spectrum...it's not different streams, different branches…it's all great music.

SL: Beilman was an 18-year-old principal second violin in the Curtis Orchestra when it workshopped and premiered Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, written for Hilary Hahn; he didn’t realize then that he’d one day be playing it as soloist, but knew it was a work destined for many more performances.

BB: Yeah, the sign of a great concerto is that...it begs to be interpreted in different ways.

SL: Beilman is tech savvy, and participates in social media...he finds studying and performing music provides a different kind of, and deeper satisfaction. I’m guilty of being stuck on my phone, and Twitter, and Facebook. These are things that take your attention for 30 seconds or a minute. With music, you’re examining something much broader, more sustained and eternal.

SL: Among other honors, Beilman has received the 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust fellowship, a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2012 London Music Masters Award.

Beilman was just 20 when he debuted with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann; a year later he won the 2010 Montreal International Competition, and the People's Choice Award. 

Benjamin Beilman plays Kreisler's Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta in 2012: