Athena Quartet

Aaron Berofsky

Violinist Aaron Berofsky has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad, gaining wide recognition as a soloist and chamber musician. As soloist, he has performed with orchestras in the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada. He has performed the complete cycle of Mozart violin sonatas at the International Festival Deia in Spain and all of the Beethoven sonatas at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. His 2011 recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas with Phillip Bush has been met with great acclaim.

France’s Le Figaro calls his playing “Beautiful, the kind of music-making that gives one true pleasure”. He has appeared in such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Corcoran Gallery, Het Doelen, L’Octogone, Seoul National University, the Teatro San Jose and the Museo de Bellas Artes. Mr. Berofsky has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and on the Canadian Broadcasting Company. His acclaimed recordings can be found on the Sony, Naxos, New Albion, ECM, Audio Ideas, Blue Griffin and Chesky labels. Recent recital tours have taken him to Germany, Italy and Korea, and he was featured soloist on the 2009 NAXOS recording of music by Paul Fetler, performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony, including the debut recording of his Concerto No. 2. His recording of the complete chamber music of Franz Xavier Mozart was released in 2013 on Equilibrium.

Mr. Berofsky was the first violinist of the Chester String Quartet for fifteen years. The quartet has been acclaimed as “one of the country’s best young string quartets” by the Boston Globe. Tours have taken them throughout the Americas and Europe and the quartet members have collaborated with such artists as Robert Mann, Arnold Steinhardt, Franco Gulli, members of the Alban Berg quartet, Andres Diaz, Eugene Istomin and Ruth Laredo. Some notable projects over the years have included the complete cycles of the quartets by Beethoven and Dvorak, and numerous recordings by such composers as Mozart, Haydn, Barber, Porter, Piston, Kernis and Tenenbom. The Chester Quartet has served as resident quartet at the University of Michigan and at Indiana University South Bend.

An alumnus of the Juilliard School, Mr. Berofsky was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay. Other important teachers have included Robert Mann, Felix Galimir, Glenn Dicterow, Lorand Fenyves and Elaine Richey. Mr. Berofsky is known for his commitment to teaching and is Professor of Violin at the University of Michigan and served as visiting Professor at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold, Germany. He taught at the Meadowmount School of Music for many summers and is currently on the violin faculty of the Chautauqua Institution. He has also given masterclasses throughout the world, including a 2013 tour of Korea which included classes at Seoul National University, Ewha Women’s University, Seoul Arts High School and many others. He has also given class at the Cleveland Institute, Oberlin, Eastman, the Peter de Grote festival in the Netherlands, Domaine Forget in Quebec, Interlochen, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival and the Conservatorio Palma Mallorca.

Mr. Berofsky’s interest in early music led him to perform with the acclaimed chamber orchestra Tafelmusik on period instruments, also makingseveral recordings with them for the Sony label. He co-runs University of Michigan’s Baroque Chamber Orchestra with harpsichordist Joseph Gascho. With a strong dedication to new music as well, he has worked extensively with many leading composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, performing, commissioning and recording music by John Cage, William Bolcom, Zhou Long, Michael Daugherty, Aaron Jay Kernis, Susan Botti, Morton Subotnick, Paul Fetler and Bright Sheng.

Aaron Berofsky has been concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony since 2003. He has also served as guest concertmaster for many orchestras throughout the US and Europe.

Kathryn Votapek

A member of the Chester String Quartet for 15 years, violinist/violist Kathryn Votapek now maintains an active career as a soloist and guest artist at chamber music festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has participated in numerous commissioning projects and premieres and can be heard with the Chester Quartet on the Koch International Classics and New Albion labels. Along with pianist Ralph Votapek and clarinetist Paul Votapek, she performs as violinist and violist with the Votapek Trio. She has also given numerous duo performances with her husband, violinist Aaron Berofsky.

Votapek has been on the faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Meadowmount School of Music, the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Madeline Island Music Camp, the Quartet Program, the Banff International Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), the Peter de Grote Summer Academy (Holland), and Music & More Summerfest (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as performing at the Klosterkammerfest (Germany), Speedside Festival (Canada), the International Deia Festival (Spain), the Garth Newel Festival, the Fontana Festival, and with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.

Votapek is currently on the faculty at the University of Michigan. She serves as the Chair of Chamber Music at the Chautauqua Institution, and is the associate concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Previously she was associate professor of violin and artist-in-residence at Indiana University South Bend.

Votapek received her bachelor of music degree at Indiana University and master’s degree from The Juilliard School. Her teachers were Robert Mann, Franco Gulli, and Angel Reyes.

Eric Nowlin

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Eric’s performance of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leonard Slatkin was described by Classical Source as “outstanding…his distinctive timbre and sovereign musicianship at one with Slatkin’s perfectly paced account… totally compelling.”

Past accomplishments include receiving second prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Competition, first prize in the Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Performances have included solo engagements with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony in Missouri, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico.

Eric was the violist of the Juno and Opus Award winning New Orford String Quartet for 10 years. Other chamber music activities have included participating in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. He was a regular member of the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Eric was previously the Associate Principal viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has served as guest principal viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Eric is Assistant Professor of Viola at Michigan State University, and has previously been Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, as well as Instructor of Viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals around the world.
He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Eric plays on a 1757 J.B. Guadagnini viola on generous loan from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Wei Yu

Wei Yu was recently appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. He made his subscription debut performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. Before joining the DSO, Wei Yu was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.

Yu was a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival and China’s National Cello competitions.

An avid chamber musician, Wei Yu has been invited to the Marlboro, Ravinia, Great Lakes and Mainly Mozart music festivals, and has recently collaborated with musicians such as cellist Carter Brey, David Soyer, pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler, violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori and Pinchas Zukerman, members of the Guarneri, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he made regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.

Yu serves on faculty of Northwestern University Bienen School Of Music. He has given cello masterclasses at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada and China. During the summer Yu teaches at the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, Canada and the Center Stage Strings Summer Institute at the University of Michigan. He is also a faculty member for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) 2017.

Born in Shanghai, China, Wei Yu began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer. He performs on the 1778 “Ex-Soyer” Gagliano cello, on generous loan from the Marlboro Music Festival.

During his first season with the DSO, the Detroit Free Press has praised his performances:

“Nearly all of the soloists made strong impressions, but special mention must go to new principal cellist Wei Yu… The grace, poise, liquid legato and purity of tone and pitch that Yu produced in these few moments were stunning in their authority and beauty — a very good sign for the future of the orchestra.”  – January 17, 2015

“New DSO principal cellist Wei Yu made his first solo appearance with the band, playing Dvorak’s beloved Cello Concerto with a sweeping sense of drama and a deeply burnished sound that projected easily over the ensemble. Yu… locked into a powerful flow; his moments of hushed lyricism were especially poetic. Yu’s arrival has already had an audible impact in enriching the sound and unanimity of the string section, but Friday’s performance showed how much personality he also brings to the table as a soloist.”   – November 21, 2015

– Classical Music Critic Mark Stryker

“His sensitivity to the various moods and extremes of this work [Dvorak Cello Concerto] were absolutely perfect. In the slow movement, as well as the second section of the finale, you could feel the audience on the stage with us. How fortunate we are to have yet another brilliant musician and leader in our orchestra.”

Maestro Leonard Slatkin, Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Chad Burrow, Special Guest

Chad Burrow is recognized as one of the premiere clarinetists of his generation.  He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in concert halls across the globe. The European press has said that Chad performs with “brilliant technique and tonal beauty mixed with an expressive ferocity.”  Danish critic, Henrik Svane, went on to describe a performance as filled with “virtuosity, energy, and power without compromise.”  The New York Times recently called a Carnegie Hall appearance in Poulenc’s, Sonata, as giving a “strong impression” and being a “bright and genial account.”

In 2009, Chad was appointed to the clarinet faculty of the University of Michigan, where he teaches clarinet, chamber music and has served as the director for the Michigan Chamber Players.  Additionally, he serves as co-artistic director for the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma ( and is on the faculty of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival ( and Alpenkammermusik Festival in Austria (   Chad is the current principal clarinetist with the Ann Arbor Symphony and has performed with the Detroit Symphony and the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra.  He is also the former principal clarinetist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, Quartz Mountain Music Festival, the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra and the past Associate Professor of Clarinet at Oklahoma City University.

Chad’s recent concert engagements abroad have included concerts in Austria, Denmark’s Thy Chamber Music Festival, a recital in the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, concerts in Strasbourg, France and Concerto appearances with the Taichung Philharmonic, the “Classic” Orchestra of Taichung and the Shin Sharn Ensemble in Taipei.  Recent performances in the United States have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Northwest and performances on a series of Benny Goodman centennial concerts in Carnegie Hall and Yale University.  Other performances have included venues at Rice University, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, three International Clarinet Association conferences, Northwestern University, the Music Mansion in Providence (RI), Yale University and the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, among many others.

Chad has recordings released by Albany Records, CD Baby, Centaur, and Equilibrium Records.   A recent Duo Clarion recording of Brahms and Schumann, with pianist Amy Cheng, was released on CD Baby.  Chad is also the clarinetist with Trio Solari.  The trio has had a regular touring schedule since 2006.   Trio Solari’s most recent recording, on the Centaur label, features works of Bartok, Khachaturian, Milhaud and Edward Knight.  A recording of William Bolcom’s, Clarinet Concerto with the Michigan Symphony Band was also recently released.

Chad is the winner of prizes and awards from the 2001 Young Concert Artist International Competition in New York City, the 2000 Woolsey Hall Competition, the 2000 Artist International Competition, and the 1997 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition

Chad serves as an artist for Backun Musical Services.  He plays exclusively on Backun, MOBA clarinets.

Anthony Beer Anthony Beer, Artistic Director

PO Box 347, 720 South Main Street, Middlebury, IN 46540

General Inquiries:   574-825-2585

Artistic Director:   574-292-2038