Benjamin Beilman violin / director
We thought about calling this concert ‘The ‘Monstrously Talented’ Mr Beilman’, not because it relates to a Patricia Highsmith novel, (though there’ll be plenty of slaying by Ben on his “Ysaÿe” Guarneri del Gesù violin from 1740), but so we could use one of our favourite quotes about this amazing violinist. We first collaborated with Ben back in 2016 and we’re happy to be back together for a concert that he’ll direct and perform the solo in Bach’s Violin Concerto. The concert starts with Entr’acte by the American composer Caroline Shaw, who moves between musical genres, winning awards and accolades left, right and centre. The larger than life Igor Stravinsky wrote his concerto for strings after moving to Hollywood in the golden age of the 1940s. Meanwhile, over on the East Coast, Aaron Copland was writing Appalachian Spring which went on to earn him a Pulitzer Prize for music.
More on the music
Continuing LCO’s tradition of embracing old with new, Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte (written 2011) was inspired by the classical string quartet writing of Haydn. Copland’s Appalachian Spring, originally a ballet about a newly-married couple in America who were gifted a farm, takes us on a journey through open landscapes and countryside in 8 clear sections. Listen for the traditional shaker song ‘Simple Gifts’ which weaves its way through the music, as we are transported to the vast plains of rural Pennsylvania. The music is so evocative that you might feel you are immersed in a daydream.