Norwich Philharmonic to welcome star violinist

Violinist Zoe Beyers

Violinist Zoe Beyers - Credit: Contributed

Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra returns to The Halls, Norwich on Saturday, February 5 in the company of one of the finest young violinists currently working in the UK, South African born, Zoë Beyers. She will perform the ever-popular Violin Concerto by Tchaikovsky.

Currently Leader of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Zoë has previously appeared as soloist with the Norwich Phil several times in recent seasons, giving sensational performances of concertos by Sibelius, Korngold and, most recently, the Symphonie Espagnole by Lalo. 

The Norwich Philharmonic is thrilled to have her back to play one of the best-loved concertos in the repertoire when she plays the Tchaikovsky.

South-African born Zoë has established a reputation as one of the finest and most versatile violinists based in the UK and performs worldwide as soloist, chamber musician, director and orchestral leader. She has been co-leader of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra since May 2020. 

Formerly Leader of the English Symphony Orchestra and Associate Leader of the CBSO, she has also performed as guest leader of the BBC Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras among others.

A graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, she has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room in London and she also performs and records as a chamber musician with the Hebrides Ensemble, the Fibonacci Sequence, the Endymion Ensemble and the Scottish Ensemble.

She teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire, coaching violinists and ensembles at the start of their careers. She is involved in ARCO, a collaboration between Birmingham Conservatoire and students in deprived areas of South Africa.

The other major work in the programme is also Russian – Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. This effervescent and at times unsettling symphony was written in 1945 at the end of World War 2 and was originally intended to be a celebration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. 

But the authorities disapproved of its lack of triumphalism and in 1948 the work was banned by the central censorship board. Today’s audiences hear different messages in the music – the composer’s bitter irony and subtle digs at the political regime are now clear and well understood.

Completing the programme are two rarities, the Karelia Overture by Sibelius, which is much less well known than his popular Karelia Suite, and Blumine, a brief but exquisite miniature by Gustav Mahler, originally included as part of his First Symphony but later discarded. However, it was first composed as incidental music for a play, The Trumpeter of Säkkingen, and so it has a prominent part for solo trumpet.

Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the UK’s leading amateur orchestras and certainly one of the longest established. Made up of talented non-professional, semi-professional and former professional musicians, the orchestra is acclaimed for its performances of major works from the symphonic repertoire and its work with gifted guest soloists, many of whom are the rising stars of the concert world. 

Matt Andrews, conductor with Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra

Matt Andrews, conductor with Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra - Credit: Norwich Philharmonic

The Society’s orchestral conductor is Matthew Andrews, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he studied composition, piano, and conducting technique. He has received further tuition with Simon Bainbridge, Hans Werner Henze and conductors Christopher Adey and Peter Stark.
Matt has a rapidly growing reputation as an orchestral conductor and trainer. Since 2012 he has been a visiting conductor to the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Essex Young People’s Orchestra, and has worked with Wells Cathedral School Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets are priced £18, £17, £12 (£7 for students/Under 26) on sale now through the Norwich Phil website:

In the unlikely event that a concert is cancelled, all ticket holders will be refunded automatically.