The English Symphony Orchestra and English String Orchestra are delighted to announce the appointment of violinist Zoë Beyers as Leader of the ESO, effective immediately. Classical Source critic Edward Clark said of Beyers’ leadership of the ESO during the orchestra’s recent Kings Place debut that “guest-leader Zoë Beyers’s playing was inspirational to all around her.”

In September 2009 Zoë became the Associate Leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and has performed regularly with the CBSO as soloist and chamber musician. Zoë is greatly in demand as a guest leader, working with the Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic (also as a soloist/director), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Beyers will lead approximately half of the ESO’s concerts, and will appear with the orchestra regularly as both director and soloist. She will also be active in developing the ESO’s chamber music offer, and will contribute the development of the orchestra’s commissioning and recording programmes.

“This is a very happy day for the orchestra,” said ESO General Manager Matthew Peters. “Zoë was the unanimous choice of the musicians and administration. She brings to the ESO a passion for a broad range of repertoire and shares our commitment to bringing worthwhile unknown works of all eras to the attention of our audience.”

Beyers says of her appointment that “I'm thrilled to be joining the ESO, and look forward to working with this dynamic ensemble. The ESO's commitment to performing and commissioning new music is something that is very close to my own heart. I am very excited to be joining an ensemble that is such an integral part of the future of classical music in Britain, as well as its past. I look forward to a wonderful musical journey together.”

“The orchestra has benefited enormously from the inspirational contributions of all the guest leaders we have worked with over the last two seasons. It has been a time of great renewal for the orchestra” said ESO Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods. “In Zoë we have found a permanent member of the team who will be an important part of the orchestra’s artistic foundations for many years to come.”

The orchestra will be appointing an additional leader in the coming months. Beyers’ first appearance with the ESO in her new role will be at The Bridgewater Hall on the 21st of April in a performance of the ESO’s “Wall of Water” programme featuring works by Kaija Saariaho, Thea Musgrave, Emily Doolittle and Deborah Pritchard.


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