Classical Guitarists at Mainstay May 1


Benjamin Beirs and Ben Lougheed, two young highly-accomplished classical guitarists, both winners of the Charlie Byrd Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Guitar at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University will perform at the Mainstay in Rock Hall on Sunday May 1 at 4:00 p.m. This concert is part of the Mainstay’s Hedgelawn Classical Music Series. Admission is $15. For more information and reservations call 410-639-9133. Information is also available at the Mainstay’s website.


Benjamin Beirs and Ben Lougheed, will each play a half of this afternoon of classical guitar featuring the works of J.S. Bach, Isaac Albéniz, Carlo Domeniconi, FedericoTorróba, Joaquín Rodrigo, Manuel M. Ponce and Roland Dyens. Beirs has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Peabody and Lougheed is an undergraduate. Both are winners of the Byrd Scholarship and both study with Julian Gray at Peabody.


Benjamin Beirs began playing the guitar at age 6 and began his studies with the outstanding guitarist and Chair of Peabody’s Department of Guitar, Julian Gray, in 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance and a Master of Music in Guitar Performance/Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute and is currently continuing his studies with Mr. Gray at Peabody in a graduate performance diploma program.

Of Beirs, Julian Gray says, “…Ben is among the most gifted students that have been in the Peabody Guitar Program over the past four decades. With his intelligence, energy, talent and commitment to excellence he has built success on success, and crafted an artistic voice in performance of rare power and authority.”

Beirs’ recent competition prizes include first prize in the 2007 National Guitar Workshop International Solo competition, first prize in the guitar division of the 2007 Baltimore Music Club Competition and second prize in Peabody’s most prestigious instrumental competition, the Yale Gordon Concerto Competition. Beirs is also the recipient of many prizes and scholarships including the Charlie Byrd Memorial Guitar Scholarship, the Harold Randolph Prize, and the Theodore Presser Scholarship.

In addition to his solo work, Beirs plays chamber music as part of the guitar duo, Duo Transatlantique. In the summer of 2005 in Paris, the duo won first prize in the Union Française des Artistes Musiciens Guitar Duo Competition and also performed a recital in the American Cathedral in Paris. The duo concertizes frequently in the U.S. and Europe.

In addition to a busy performance schedule, Beirs is a guitar instructor at Music and Arts in Germantown, MD and at the Peabody Preparatory. He combines service with his music as a site-coordinator for the Creative Access, where he and other volunteers perform on a regular basis for the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care.

Ben Lougheed is currently an undergraduate at Peabody. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, he began studying classical guitar at age six and began performing soon after that. He studied for 12 years with groundbreaking Suzuki teacher Mary Lou Roberts and has become a Suzuki teacher himself. Mr. Lougheed has traveled all over the world to perform, including playing for a musical collaboration with the University of Michigan Musical Society. Lougheed has participated in master classes with some of the most renowned guitarists in the world, including Ana Vidovic and Jason Vieaux and has been awarded various scholarships including the Charlie Byrd Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Guitar to attend the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins, where he is currently studying with world-renowned teacher and current department chair, Julian Gray.
This concert featuring two winners of the Charlie Byrd Memorial Endowed Scholarship is at the Mainstay, which also recognizes the late guitarist Charlie Byrd as one of the Mainstay’s strongest supporters when it was just getting started..

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), non profit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall and the surrounding region and dedicated to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar. The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. For information and reservations call 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

May 1 Benjamin Biers and Ben Lougheed

May 6 Washington College Afro-Cuban Ensemble

May 12 Red Molly

May 14 Dick Durham

May 18 Mainstay Blues Juke Jam Open Mic

May 19 Sarah McQuaid

May 22 Capital Focus Jazz Band

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