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Sharon Bezaly

Flutist Sharon Bezaly is among the world's premier players of her instrument. With some 20 flute concertos written for her, as well as various solo and chamber works, she has an unusually strong commitment to contemporary music. Bezaly was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 2, 1972. She did not take up the flute until age 11, but after that, she made rapid progress, appearing with the Israel Philharmonic under conductor Zubin Mehta at 14. She played for the superstar flutist of the day, Jean-Pierre Rampal, who advised her to move to France for further study. There, she worked with Maurice Bourgue, Raymond Guiot, Alain Marion, and Aurèle Nicolet, learning the difficult circular breathing technique from the latter. At the invitation of conductor Sandor Végh, she was engaged as principal flutist of the Camerata Academica Salzburg. Upon Végh's death in 1997, she decided to launch a solo career. Joining violinist Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Baltica ensemble for a time, she began to find solo performance opportunities as she was signed to the BIS label and issued her recording debut, The Israeli Connection, in 1998. Bezaly married BIS executive Robert von Bahr and took up residence in Sweden. Becoming a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist for 2006-2008 marked a breakthrough in Bezaly's career, as did a stint as the first-ever wind player artist-in-residence with the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague. She has performed with many of the world's top orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, and all of the BBC orchestras. She has appeared at such major venues as Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York, where, in 2012, she gave the U.S. premiere of José Serebrier's Flute Concerto under the composer's baton. Bezaly has consistently included newly commissioned works in her concerts and on her recordings from composers, including Sofia Gubaidulina, Kalevi Aho, and Sally Beamish; those by Gubaidulina and Aho have entered the general flute repertory. Bezaly has continued to record exclusively for BIS, amassing a catalog of some 40 albums by the early 2020s. Contemporary music is heavily represented among these, as are such novel releases as Across the Sea: Chinese-American Flute Concertos (2011). In 2020, her recording of Serebrier's Flute Concerto with Tango appeared as part of a Serebrier collection on BIS. Bezaly plays a 24-carat Muramatsu gold flute from Japan.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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