Besnik Yzeiri

Besnik Yzeiri
Graduate Student

Specialization

Viola

Bio

Besnik Yzeiri began his violin studies at the age of 6 in Shkoder, Albania. In 1987, he finished his high school music studies with honors. That same year, Besnik was accepted at the University of Arts Music Faculty, for Viola performance in Tirana. From a young age, Besnik was part of professional orchestras. At 13, he performed with the Shkoder Philharmonic Orchestra, at 18 Besnik continuously performed with the Albanian Radio-Television and Theatre & Ballet Orchestra. In 1992, Besnik was accepted to continue his studies in Viola at the Conservatory of Milan "Giuseppe Verdi” under the guidance of Gian Paulo Guatteri. In 1996 he concluded his studies with honors. That same year, he enrolled at a post graduate Orchestra Performance course, under the direction of Maestro Danilo Rossi - Principal Viola of Teatro alla Scala.
 
During his years at the Conservatory of Milan, Besnik worked at “Giuseppe Verdi” Symphony and "Guido Cantelli" Orchestra. This allowed him to experience European music at its best; such as the Music Festivals in Salzburg, Gent, Monaco, Lugano, Prague, Ankara, and Munich as well as in Italy - Milan, Rome, Florence, Turin, Naples, Palermo, Lucca, etc. One of the highest points in Besnik’s carreer was performing for “La Scala” in Milan in 1996; accompanying Ray Charles in 1997 in Milan, and Luciano Pavarotti in 1999 in Savona. In 1999, Besnik immigrated to Canada. He auditioned for and won the position of Assistant Principal Viola with Windsor Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 Besnik was featured as a soloist with WSO, performing the 3rd Movement of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by the famous Albanian composer, Pjeter Gaci.
 
The piece “Potpuri,” which Besnik arranged for string ensemble with folk tunes from Albania and the Balkans, was performed as a World Premiere by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in 2003. That same year Besnik founded International School of Music, a business that he keeps alive by teaching violin and viola while contributing to the education of young musicians for Detroit and Windsor Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, Besnik was nominated for the Gemini Awards and in 2008 he won a Juno Award. In 2013 and 2014 Besnik participated at CBC's Searchlight -The Hunt for Canada's Best New Artist, with “Longing" and "Andrea". CBC's Grant Lawrence quoted: "...I often find myself loving a piece of music I never would have otherwise heard. Take for instance Besnik Yzeiri's beautiful, cinematic, classical piece called "Andrea". Yzeiri had lived all over Europe before landing in Windsor, and has worked with everyone from the Three Tenors to Ray Charles to the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. It's an honour having an artist of Yzeiri's talent in Searchlight."
 
In 2015 Besnik completed his Masters in Music Performance degree at Wayne State University. That same year he was accepted into the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Performance program at Michigan State University. On October 16, 2015 Besnik launched his First Album with original music, titled “Passion”. Besnik continues to work on other original compositions. In September 2017 Besnik transferred to University of California, Santa Barbara to continue his Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Performance degree under the guidance of Professor Jonathan Moerschel, the viola performer of the famous CALDER Quartet.