Kevin Beavers has emerged as a rising star among the next generation of American composers. He has written a variety of works for chamber musicians, voice, and orchestra. In recent years, he has focused much of his efforts on writing works for orchestra.
From 2003 to 2005 Mr. Beavers was the fifth composer to participate in the California Symphony’s highly esteemed Young-American-Composer-in-Residence (YACR) program. His first commissioned piece for the symphony, Essay for Orchestra, premiered in May 2003. The Baroque Choral Guild with guest soloists Kevin Gibbs and Anton Belov joined the symphony to present his second work for the orchestra, Songs From the Discovery, an epic setting of two poems of Szymborska. Received with ovations and praise, Paul Hartelendy writing for Artssf.com wrote, “Kevin Beavers’ new Songs From the Discovery has an aura and a haunting impact, with some dazzling orchestral colors to boot. It ranks among the most memorable of the world premiere commissions of the boldly enterprising California Symphony here. It leaves us a message for our times, with a capital M.” and “Beavers’ opus should, I would hope and pray, get repeat plays around the USA as it links for us, with utmost eloquence, two messages from across the oceans converging on one idée fixe very much linked to our times.” To conclude his residency with the orchestra, Mr. Beavers wrote a three-movement Symphony premiered in October of 2005. The work received high praise from both orchestra and audience.
In April of 2007 violin soloist Colin Jacobsen accompanied by the Albany Symphony Orchestra (NY) under the baton of Maestro David Miller premiered one of Beavers most daring and provocative works to date, his Roscoe for violin and orchestra. The work is part of a series of compositions written for the Albany Symphony based upon novels of Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy. At the premiere Mr. Kennedy read the excerpts from Roscoe that had inspired the four movements of the concerto.
Previously in 2004, the Albany Symphony premiered Mr. Beavers Eyeball High, a tone poem based upon William Kennedy‘s novel Legs about the notorious New York gangster ‘Legs’ Diamond. To date, Mr. Beavers has written six works for the Albany Symphony.
His works have been performed by several major U.S. orchestras including those in St. Louis and Philadelphia. Mr. Beavers has received commissions from the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Detroit Civic Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the University of Michigan Symphony Band, the Boston Conservatory (for Nanae Mimura), and the Brooklyn friends of Chamber Music (for the Cassatt Quartet). He has recordings on the Equilibrium, Albany, Innova, and Centaur labels and publications with Oxford University Press. Mr. Beavers has received a number of grants and awards, including first prize in the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s Centennial Composition Competition, the Rudolph Nissim Prize from ASCAP, a commission grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lee Ettelson Prize, first prize in the Omaha Symphony‘s Composition Competition, four ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, two Regents Fellowships from the University of Michigan, and fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Festival and the MacDowell Colony. Born in Colombia and raised in West Virginia, Mr. Beavers received his musical training at West Virginia University and went on to earn a Master‘s Degree and Doctorate from the University of Michigan. Additionally, Mr. Beavers has studied and worked in Amsterdam on a grant from the Netherlands-America Foundation and at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Mr. Beavers has taught composition and theory at the University of Texas at Austin and the Interlochen Arts Camp. Dr. Beavers presently lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.