The Kennedy Center

Benjamin Beirs


Benjamin Beirs brings new life to a timeless classical instrument. Trained at Peabody Conservatory by Julian Gray, he has among other things performed a concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic and appeared at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A performer, teacher and composer, you can find him almost anywhere from the concert stage to an elementary school, playing to a most diverse and appreciative audience.
             Whether he is performing the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Concerto in D major, the rags of Scott Joplin, improvised pieces with musicians in India, or his own compositions and arrangements, he is the quintessence of the modern musician, open to any great musical idea. His Duo Transatlantique with the virtuosic French guitarist Maud Laforest has established his young career on two continents already with performances in England and France as well as North America.
            He believes in music as a "great kindness" - one that has helped him immensely in his own life, but just as importantly, one which helps others. In addition to teaching and performing, he frequently performs outreach in various settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. He also enjoys performing at meditation retreats throughout the country with renowned meditation teacher and author Lama Surya Das.
            He is the recipient of numerous prizes from international guitar competitions:
1st prize in the 2010 University of Texas at Dallas Guitar Competition, 1st prize in the 2008 Appalachian GuitarFest Competition, and 1st prize in the 2007 National Guitar Workshop Competition. He also has been a finalist in major concerto competitions, including the 2011 Schadt Concerto Competition (2nd prize and Audience Choice Award) and the 2008 Joann Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition (3rd prize). His new album, "Widening Circles," is described by Classical Guitar Canada as "one of the most unified, fulfilling, and refreshing albums I've heard in some time." It features the music of Steve Reich, Marek Pasieczny, Roland Dyens, as well as a new piece by Mr. Beirs.
            He lives in Baltimore, MD, where he teaches guitar at the Peabody Preparatory and regularly performs throughout the region. He is represented in North America by Chesapeake International Artists.

May 2012
Benjamin Beirs