Reviews

Young but Willing to Take On a Challenge
"The brilliant young violinist Benjamin Beilman was the excellent soloist in Barber’s ravishing, Neo-Romantic 1939 Violin Concerto. He brought dark chocolate sound and lyricism to his rhapsodic playing and compellingly dispatched the breathless, perpetual-motion finale."

- Anthony Tommasini
The New York Times
From Mystical Bells to a Hungarian Folk Duo, the Joys of the Unfamiliar
"But the surprise highlight of the evening came when Mr. Beilman and Mr. Thedeen paired up for a superlative performance of Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello. Here was that elusive unknown unknown: a work that at first glance appeared to be no more than an academic exercise in folk-music transcription yet turned into a riveting drama.

Mr. Beilman’s sound is muscular with a glint of violence; whenever his statements were echoed in Mr. Thedeen’s rich, patrician tone, there were echoes of the archetypal conflict between youth and experience. Other exchanges proceeded in whispers, punctuated by long silences that never got in the way of the urgent, intensely suspenseful narrative drive. In this performance, Kodaly’s Duo revealed itself — who knew? — as a masterpiece of 20th-century chamber music."

- Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
The New York Times
Legendary Conductor Herbig Makes the Most of a Rare Piece
"Beilman is a rare and wonderful violinist. He has a quiet singing tone that brought out the graces of the temperamental instrument that had just been placed in his hands. It suited the delicate nature of this concerto, with all its quicksilver, scampering melodies. Beilman also plays with guts, though, when the situation requires it. In the clear acoustics of Kleinhans you could feel the bow dancing across the strings and hear the occasional scrape. It made things thrilling."

- Mary Kunz Goldman
The Buffalo News
Chamber Music Society Magic
"They began with Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1, in a spirited performance that well-displayed the musical artistry and impeccable technique of both. Beilman draws a deep, velvety tone from his instrument, his vibrato unobtrusive but varied according to the need of the music."

- Philippa Kiraly
The Seattle Times
A Romantic Evening
"Mr. Beilman, a passionate performer with a deep, rich tone, played the opening melody beautifully as it unfolded over the enigmatic piano motifs."

"Mr. Beilman’s bold sound and Mr. Sunwoo’s characterful playing were heard to fine effect throughout the work"

"Mr. Beilman sounded in his element during Tchaikovsky’s Valse-Scherzo (Op. 34), nimbly mastering the double stops and other bravura challenges."

"The mood turned stormier during Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, given a passionate and expressive performance, with the turbulent outbursts balanced with introspective poise by this youthful, but musically mature, duo."

- Vivien Schweitzer
The New York Times
Saying Hello With Youthful Exuberance
"Mr. Beilman’s handsome technique, burnished sound and quiet confidence in Mozart’s Sonata in E flat (K. 302) showed why he has come so far so fast."

"Unaccompanied, and playing from memory with vigor and unfussy precision, Mr. Beilman brought out rusticity and nostalgia in Prokofiev’s imaginative late Sonata for Solo Violin. Rejoined by Mr. Sunwoo, he closed the concert with another autumnal work, Kreisler’s sumptuous 'Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta,' providing an affectionate account of Kreisler’s “Liebeslied” as an encore after a robust, prolonged ovation."

- Steve Smith
The New York Times
Young Musicians Shine at Terrace Theatre Recital
"Thursday’s Young Concert Artists Series recital at the Terrace Theatre introduced a local audience to the latest in this spawn of violin phenoms, the 21-year-old Benjamin Beilman, whose sweet, warm, slightly throaty tone gave considerable pleasure in sonatas by Mozart and Richard Strauss. The illusion of tossed-off ease Beilman created in Prokofiev’s daunting Op 115 Sonata for Violin Solo was mightily impressive — why isn’t this enthralling work programmed more often? — and he found just the right balance of virtuosity, elegance and schmaltz in a pair of Fritz Kreisler bonbons."

- Joe Banno
The Washington Post
Young Astral Stars Impress
"Beilman played the well-circulated Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in heroically broad strokes...the brain behind the sound burst with ideas, so much that even the most functional passage work was never merely repetitive...The orchestra matched his energy level every step of the way. What a compelling performance."

- David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Judging the Winners in a Splendid City
"Right off the bat, he played with the first violins [in Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 1]. He exuded authority with his clean terraced arpeggios, firm flow, depth of expression, and a fabulous Beethovenesque cadenza. His flowing rubato in the Adagio's elegant Vivaldi-like theme was so natural that Wong didn't even conduct the pizzicato strings. And his incisive rhythms and pulse in the finale spelled style, style, style. Beilman was clearly having huge fun (the opposite of nerves)."

"Atmosphere, chilling and gripping, is the quality that Benjamin Beilman conveyed from his opening note in the Sibelius. He also knew how to aim the work; he had a full grasp of his work's form and forward-moving drama. His rubato had a magical flow. His use of vibrato was varied and deliberate... And, above all, his rhythms and pulse were so absolutely secure that he was the only finalist Wong seemed to connect with... Based just on the finals, I'd have awarded Beilman first prize..."

- Gil French
American Record Guide
Young Violinist Proves a Talent Far Beyond His Age
"And what a remarkable sound it was from violinist Beilman. His tone is robust and gutsy, even (I'm not hesitant to say) Heifetzlike, yet his high pianissimos were as fluid as pouring oil. He performed the highly idiosyncratic and demanding concerto with the potency and musical understanding of a veteran.

The slow Adagio di molto glowed with a radiant sheen, while the vigorous final Allegro marched headlong with a frenzied vitality. From what was heard Friday night in Popejoy Hall this young man is truly phenomenal, and given proper promotion (sadly, no "given" in this business), he should go on to a brilliant career. The concert's title, "Violin Prodigy," seemed most apropos. Overwhelming applause brought him back to the stage to play the devilishly difficult Paganini Caprice No. 24."

- D. S. Crafts
The Albuquerque Journal
Musicians from Marlboro Sails...
"By the time the Dvorak E-flat Quintet rolled around, however, the imbalances had been attended to... Beilman, now as first violinist, rose to the occasion and the group offered a reading of this big, luscious piece that was as compelling in its lyricism as it was in its rhythmic incisiveness. The hair-trigger timing of the last movement’s interplay between violin and violas was terrific, with never a hitch in its momentum."

- Joan Reinthaler
The Washington Post
Big Win From Curtis in Young Concert Artists Competition
"...a poised and monstrously talented 20-year-old violinist..."

- Peter Dobrin
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Performance Marked by Both Brilliance and Some Reticence
"Violinist Benjamin Beilman, just 20, walked out onto the stage of the Mary Seaton Room by himself after Sunday’s intermission and really came into his own with a superb performance of Prokofiev’s Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 115.

Beilman’s performance brimmed with warmth and breadth, and did not try to make the music any more profound than it was. The result was a minor triumph.

He was then rejoined by pianist Anna Polonsky in the Wilhelm transcription of Wagner’s seldom-played 1861 “Albumblatt.” Sweet and sentimental, with a mildly agitated midsection, it was superbly played by the duo.

[Hubay's Carmen Fantasie] is an episodic work that allowed each Bizet theme to have its unadorned moment in the spotlight, then garnished them with rapid spiccato passages, fiendishly difficult string crossings, upper register pyrotechnics, slippery glissando and other technical challenges, all dispatched by Beilman with both ease and finesse. The large audience exploded with applause, shouts and cheers."

- Herman Trotter
The Buffalo News
Beethoven at the Mann Center
“Every phrase that came from violinist Benjamin Beilman in [Beethoven’s] Romance No. 2 was purposefully molded…Repeated descents into the lower strings not only revealed a distinctive, full-bodied sound but also carried emotional weight…”

- David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer
It's Coming Down to Nuances for Violin Finalists
"Benjamin Beilman…made the strongest impression…Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in C Major showed Beilman’s fitness in a very early manifestation of classical-period writing…The second movement was the high point, as his soaring line was steadily poised…Beilman showed a special feeling for this composer…He did so especially in the first-movement cadenza – a little bit rustic, leavened by an urbane wit typical of Haydn…his sense of style was thoroughly winning."

- Jay Harvey
The Indianapolis Star
Violin Prize to American
"Beilman's sleek and elegant Sibelius began as if in another world -mysterious, ethereal, magical -and never descended into cliched gestures or exaggerated displays of power."

- Robert Markow
The Montreal Gazette
Stiff Competition in Montreal
“…20-year old Benjamin Beilman, made a striking impression with the Sibelius Concerto…Beilman’s sound was characterful, his preparation impeccable and he played with both eloquence and flair. By the end of the evening, he seemed poised to win either first or second prize…Many listeners had been touched by Beilman’s playing…”

– Dennis D. Rooney (on Beilman’s First-Prize-winning performance at the 2010 Montreal International Musical Competition)
MusicalAmerica.com
Une Chance Historique
Translation from French: “…[then] came the eagerly awaited arrival of the angel of the [2010 Montreal International Musical] Competition, American Benjamin Beilman. From his first statement in the quarter-finals, Beilman displayed the spark that distinguishes great artists. This flare carried through the semifinals and did not wane in the Sibelius Concerto in the finals. The feeling that one was in front of a hybrid of Gil Shaham and James Ehnes continued, as we listened to such passion and such assurance… The jury here has a historic opportunity to position Montreal as the place that introduced to the world the talent of a future superstar of the violin.”

- Christophe Huss
Le Devoir
The Closest of Calls
“It was a performance brimming with imaginative touches and exquisite control of the softer end of the dynamic spectrum. The slow movement [of the Sibelius Concerto] was pure poetry.”

- Robert Markow
The Strad Magazine
Beaucoup Plus Qu'un Concours
Translation from French: “…there is the promise of a great future for Benjamin ‘beloved-of-the- gods’ Beilman.”

- Christophe Huss
Le Devoir
Concours International de Violon
Translation from French: “Beilman crossed the long and difficult score [of the Sibelius concerto] with precision…which, from a boy of 20 years, surprised us all.”

- Claude Gingras
La Presse
Un Concours d'Envergure
Translation from French: “Artist and violin came together in the amazing 20-year-old American, Benjamin Beilman, a sort of spiritual son of Gil Shaham (who share the same pianissimo!)”

- Christophe Huss
Le Devoir
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