Classic with a twist

Image credit: Katya Chilingiri

"I wanted to present music that people were not familiar with, but that would widen their appreciation of the classical guitar and classical music," says musician Benjamin Beirs, Peab '06, '07 (MM), '09 (GPD), who released his second solo album, Widening Circles, in January. Primarily funded through Kickstarter, the album includes Beirs' original composition, "Awakened Awareness," which has been described by critics as meditative and melodic with hints of Eastern overtones. It's the type of music that is just right for his occasional performances at meditation retreats. "My piece," Beirs explains, "was my own attempt at evoking the experience of meditation"—another of the young musician's passions. Beyond producing an album, this year Beirs performed in a sold-out concert with the Kennedy Center Chamber Players; he also performs both in the United States and internationally in Duo Transatlantique with French guitarist Maud Laforest, Peab '06, '07 (MM). See for 2013 performance dates.