Esther and Mina initially began playing together as members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2015 and 2016. However, it wasn’t until studying for their Bachelor of Music degrees at the Royal Academy of Music that they began playing together as the Equinox Duo. Since then they have performed in concerts across England. Appearances include the Buxton International Festival (2021), Barnes Music Festival Young Artists Programme (2019), and a recital of recent works for flute and harp at the RAM (2020), including a new commission by David Nunn. Future engagements include the Hambleden Concert Series (2022) and recording another new commission by Nunn. Excited by contemporary music, the duo hope to continue commissioning new music for the ensemble, working with emerging composers and broadening the repertoire for the duo combination.
Mina Middleton is from Northamptonshire, but spent 5 years in Manchester learning with Belinda Gough, Laura Jellicoe and Katherine Bryan at Chetham’s School of Music. In 2016 Mina went on to begin her studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Kate Hill and in her third year, began learning with Michael Cox. Her place there is generously supported by the Jo Weinberg Flute Award and in 2017 she was a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrument grant allowing her to buy a Burkhart Piccolo, with which she was awarded first place in the RAM Jonathan Myall piccolo prize 2018. As a soloist, she performed the Nielsen Concerto at the Bridgewater hall and has since played the flute on screen for the BBC drama series Fleabag and solo alto flute for the soundtrack to MacBeth at the Chichester Festival Theatre. As well as with Equinox Duo, she performs regularly with her other chamber groups, Image Flute Trio and Lyrus Winds. Outside of music Mina enjoys other creative arts such as drawing, working with textiles and acting on film sets as an extra.
Esther Beyer is a harpist in her second year of her Master of Music degree at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Karen Vaughan, where she recently won the inaugural Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Prize, the final of which was held at Wigmore Hall. Other competition successes include reaching the final of the Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award (2020) and being very highly commended in both the prestigious RAM Club Prize (2019) and RAM Guy Magrath Harp Prize (2019).
A passionate orchestral musician, Esther has worked under the batons of renowned conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardener and Ilan Volkov, and has premiered works by Tansy Davies, Unsuk Chin and Iris ter Schiphorst. Esther has played in many major venues across the UK, including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sage Gateshead, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Leeds Town Hall. She has performed in masterclasses with acclaimed harpists such as Isabelle Moretti, Sylvain Blassel, Milda Agazarian and Isabelle Perrin. Notable solo highlights include playing for HRH Duchess of Cornwall on the Royal Harp at Clarence House.
Esther is a grateful recipient of a Wolfson Foundation Grant (2018), which allowed her to purchase her Salvi Iris harp. Her studies at the Royal Academy of Music are generously supported by Help Musicians UK and The Musician's Company.