Sundays at Four hosts Beyer, a pianist, mathematician, Navy pilot

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

By Mary Cole

Contributing writer

Alexander Beyer performs for the Sundays at Four concert series at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7 at Christ Episcopal Church, 111 South Church St.

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It is said that music and math are complementary interests and career paths, and scientists are often strong musicians. 

If this is indeed true, then Beyer, a 29-year-old pianist, proves this in spades. 

He will join two colleagues who are Virginia Symphony Orchestra string players as part of the NEW Tidewater Piano Trio being introduced to the area in a concert hosted by Sundays at Four.

Cellist Rebecca Gilmore and her colleague, violinist Simon Lapointe, join Beyer for the performance. All three experienced musicians will entertain with flying fingers, no doubt using many of the same senses and brain power that Beyer employs when flying a Navy E-2 Hawkeye. 

A beginning pianist at four years old, Beyer attended the Juilliard Pre College program and was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 2012.

The patterns in both math and music fascinated him at an early age, and continued to be a primary focus. At New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, he found a unique five-year degree program shared with Harvard where he could study mathematics and receive his bachelor’s degree at Ivy League school while at the same time studying piano performance at the conservatory and receive his masters degree. 

During this period of study he played competitions nationally and internationally receiving third prize in the Queen Elizabeth Competition, and he was guest soloist with several well-known orchestras both here in the states and in Europe.

After some serious thought, Alex decided he wanted to explore ways he could become a pilot – another strong interest of his. Skills in math and music could be helpful as a pilot. 

In 2018, after receiving degrees from Harvard and NEC, he was commissioned as a naval officer and winged as a naval aviator in 2021. Since being stationed at Norfolk, he has enjoyed the cultural life of Hampton Roads and has been active in the Feldman Chamber Music Series and the Chrysler Museum of Art, while he finishes an additional master’s degree in science and analytics at Georgia Tech.

Tickets for the Jan. 7 Sundays at Four concert are available at the door — $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Tickets at the door: Adults $20; Students $10. For information, call 757-675-5777.

Sundays at Four offers a variety of programming each year, having opened this season with a harp/flute duo. The next program features a pianist with a local connection, and math and music degrees from Indiana University, a masters in piano performance from Cincinnati Conservatory and is now working on a doctorate in New York. Joseph Vaz will play a recital in memory of his grandmother, Doris Rae Gwaltney, March 3, again at Christ Episcopal Church. As a teenager, Vaz was a Sundays at Four Terrific Teen, and returns to play a special recital.