Violinist Andrew Beer has been described as a “virtuoso soloist” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, as possessing a “glorious string tone” by Strad Magazine, and as a “musical gift” by the New York Times. His NZ-premiere performance of the Ligeti Concerto was described by Peter Hoar of RNZ as “a consummate performance” and “one of the most exciting things I’ve heard from a while.” Andrew was awarded Best Classical Artist at the 2020 NZ Music Awards, confirming his place as a star performer in New Zealand. He has performed in top concert halls throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, and his performances have been broadcast on NHK Japan, Vietnamese television, CBC Radio-Canada, Minnesota Public Radio, Vermont Public Radio, WQXR New York, Radio NZ Concert FM and ABC Classic FM.
As a soloist, he has performed with leading orchestras in Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Boston, Birmingham, Catania, Auckland and Hamilton with conductors including James Feddeck, Gil Rose, Joseph Silverstein, Victor Feldbrill, Giordano Bellincampi, Tecwyn Evans, Hamish McKeich, Holly Mathieson and Michael Seal. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the Music@Menlo, Prussia Cove, Banff, Orford, Domaine Forget, Tanglewood and Aspen festivals, and with leading musicians including Midori, the Parker Quartet and members of the Emerson Quartet.
Contemporary music has played a large role in Andrew’s musical life, and he has worked closely with some of the leading composers of our time on their solo and chamber works, including Pierre Boulez, Mario Davidovsky, György Kurtág and Steve Reich. Andrew has taken great interest in the wealth of gifted composers in New Zealand, and his debut Rattle Records CD with pianist Sarah Watkins, 11 Frames, features many of these composers.
Andrew has proudly been concertmaster of the Auckland Philharmonia since 2014, and has performed as guest concertmaster with the CBSO (Birmingham), Hallé (Manchester), MSO (Melbourne), ASO (Adelaide), VSO (Vancouver), Opera North (Leeds) and NZSO (Wellington). He also performs regularly with Aotango, the Levansa Trio and the Ākarana Piano Quartet.
Outside his busy performing schedule, Andrew teaches privately, and he has been a guest teacher and performer at Harvard and McGill Universities. He has been on the selection panel for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition since 2014. Humanitarian and outreach concerts have also played an important role in his musical output, and through such endeavours he was awarded a U.S. Congressional Commendation in 2006.
Born in Vancouver in 1982, Andrew’s principal teachers were Lawrie Hill, Gwen Thompson, Gerald Stanick, Ani Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a BA magna cum laude from Stony Brook University and an MM and GD from the New England Conservatory of Music. He served as a performing and teaching fellow at Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School from 2007-2008, and from 2008-2013 held the position of assistant principal 2nd violin with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM).
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys playing piano, arranging and composing, vegetable gardening, tennis, and parenthood!
Andrew performs on a J.B. Vuillaume violin from 1845, and a Nicolas Maire bow from 1855.