Young American musicians Benjamin Beilman & Andrew Tyson in recital at Llewellyn Hall

Benjamin Beilman
The Canberra Times

The partnership of the two young American musicians, Benjamin Beilman, violin, and Andrew Tyson, piano, has received the highest praise for performances throughout England, Europe and the US.

Beilman's playing has been described as "muscular with a glint of violence" and as having "a dark chocolate sound", while Tyson was lauded by BBC Radio 3 as "a poet of the piano." The yin and the yang of a musical partnership, perhaps?

Beilman laughs at this suggestion. "I guess that's a decent way to describe it," he says. "When I look for collaborators and recital partners I'm very much seeking people who have at least some overlap but more often I want somebody who is a different identity, not someone too agreeable and complacent. The kind of repertoire that I like to play asks for an equal piano part and therefore it's important to have an equally impassioned and sure area."

The two met as students at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia but, as Beilman explains, "I'd heard Andrew perform on several occasions but it wasn't until after we'd graduated that we played a piano quintet at a festival in New York. Because we'd had similar tutelage at the same school we found collaborating very easy. When I was asked to perform on this Musica Viva tour my first consideration was, 'Who will be the most perfect musical partner?' Almost equally important was, 'Who do I want to travel with?' And Andrew is a poet of the piano and really a world-class artist but he's also a very interesting guy and I consider him a close friend."

Beilman has just acquired a 1731 Stradivarius violin on a short-term loan from a London shop.
"It's a very fine big instrument and hopefully there'll still be 'the dark chocolate sound' especially in the Janacek sonata that we're going to play in our recital," he says. 

Read the rest of the review here