London based violinist Zara Benyounes has a diverse playing career,
performing extensively as a chamber, orchestral and recording musician.
'..masterful and totally engaging..'
Equally at home in the recording studio, Zara spends much of her career working for film, TV and record producers at major London studios such as Abbey Road, AIR and RAK. She has recorded for a multitude of commerical artists primarily as part of Wired Strings. She has performed live at the Royal Albert Hall with Michael Kiwanuka, Stereophonics, Goldfrapp, Boy George and Bjork and live on 'Later with Jools Holland', The Brits and for London Fashion Week.
Zara's surname is of Arabic origin. She plays on a beautiful 1682 Nicolo Amati kindly made available to her from the Boucher Trust.
Zara is is the first violinist and founding member of the prize-winning Benyounes Quartet with whom she has performed and recorded for over 13 years. With the quartet she has performed internationally at leading venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Verbier, Aldeburgh and given multiple radio broadcasts. The quartet's diverse discography including their most recent album 'Innovators' for Champs Hill Records have received widespread critical acclaim.
Further experience as a chamber musician has led to collaborations with internationally renowned artists such as Nicky Spence, Tim Ridout, Awadagin Pratt, Ligeti Quartet and Julian Bliss, and as soloist she has performed with the BBC Singers live on Radio 3. With the Benyounes, Zara has premiered numerous works for string quartet by pioneering contemporary composers such as Paul Ruders, Philip Cashian, Simon Bainbridge and John Woolrich.
This season Zara lead the Chineke! Orchestra's BBC Prom and the re opening of the Royal Festival Hall with Sheku Kanneh-Mason as soloist. She has appeared as guest principal with leading UK ensembles including Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, BBCNOW, Riot Ensemble, Aurora and 12 Ensemble. Zara regularly performs and records with the innovative London Contemporary Orchestra and has featured on film sound tracks Phantom Thread - Thom York, Alien Covenant - Jed Kurzel and on albums by Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean and Radiohead.
Principal teachers have included Maciej Rakowski, Andras Keller and Gabor Takacs-Nagy. As a teacher herself, Zara is on the faculty of chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music and she has given masterclasses at conservatoires and universities across the UK and Ireland. Zara is the Artistic Director of the South Downs Summer Music Festival.