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Described as “a sparkling presence” by Seen and Heard International (2022), Esther Beyer is an award-winning harpist and educator based in London. Competition successes include first place in the inaugural Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Prize (held at Wigmore Hall, 2020) and reaching the final of the 2020 Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award (in association with Classic FM). Esther is also a yeoman of The Musician’s Company. Notable solo highlights include performing for HRH Duchess of Cornwall on the Royal Harp at Clarence House.

A passionate orchestral musician, Esther has worked with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet, for conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner and Vasily Petrenko. She has premiered works by Tansy Davies, Unsuk Chin and Iris ter Schiphorst and performed in venues across the UK, including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and Royal Festival Hall. Esther was a London Philharmonic Orchestra Foyle Future Firsts Associate for 2021/22 and the harpist for the 2021 London Sinfonietta Academy.

Esther is also an avid chamber musician and is having particular success with her flute and harp ensemble, the Equinox Duo, who perform frequently across England. Appearances include the Swaledale Festival (summer 2024), Barnes Music Festival (2023), Buxton International Festival (July 2021), and a recital of recent works for flute and harp at the RAM (2020), including a world premiere by David Nunn. Excited by contemporary music, the duo aims to subvert the stereotype of the flute and harp ensemble, and to continue commissioning new music for the ensemble, working with emerging composers and broadening the repertoire for the duo combination.

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© Tor Hills 2020

A keen advocate of the importance of music in the community, Esther frequently works in schools, nurseries, hospitals and with people living with dementia. Highlights include work with organisations such as the London Sinfonietta, London Rhymes, Imperial Health Charity (giving interactive music sessions in cancer care and dialysis wards), The Musicians’ Company, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Wigmore Hall, and City of London Sinfonia’s Sound Young Minds Initiative. She was a Benedetti Foundation Creative Ambassador for 2023 and a Fellow with the Royal Academy of Music Open Academy department for 2022-23. Esther is passionate about sharing the joy of creativity and the necessity of providing access to music and music education for everyone, no matter their circumstances.

Esther is fascinated by contemporary music, and continuously seeks out opportunities to take part in and create her own projects, such as performing world premieres of pieces, commissioning and collaborating with emerging composers and working in contemporary ensembles. Esther has performed in side-by-side concerts and recordings with CHROMA ensemble and The Riot Ensemble, and has given Composing for Harp seminars for the composition department at the Royal Academy of Music.  She frequently collaborates with composers on new compositions. Her master’s project was centred around R. Murray Schafer The Crown of Ariadne suite, with emphasis on the suite’s wider links with Patria, theatre of confluence and contemporary performance techniques.

Esther studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Karen Vaughan and Susan Blair, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (First Class) and a Master of Music (Distinction) degrees in 2020 and 2022. She was also awarded a prestigious DipRAM (2022) and a Regency Award for outstanding contribution (2020). Esther is a grateful recipient of a Wolfson Foundation Grant (2018), which allowed her to purchase her Salvi Iris harp.

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