The Belin Quartet
Committed to musical excellence.

Welcoming one and all to its weekly open-air summer concerts, the Belin Quartet has been harmonizing with the Des Moines community for more than 20 years.  With instrumental support from the Civic Music Association since its founding, the Belin Quartet honors the enduring legacy of David Belin (1928-1999) and Connie Belin (1930-1980).

The nationally-known leader of a local law firm who was instantly recognizable with his trademark bow tie, David Belin was also a talented violinist who loved classical music. A champion of public education whose contributions inspired the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa, Connie Belin was also an ever-present supporter of music and the arts.

Their vision of sharing the joys of classical music was realized as a result of their generous philanthropy. Through the Iowa Foundation for Education, Environment, and the Arts, a charitable foundation created by David Belin, members of the Belin family have supported the Belin Quartet since its inception. In addition to partnering with the Civic Music Association on current concerts and programs, an ongoing foundation initiative seeks to expand efforts to endow the Belin Quartet so that this cherished tribute to David and Connie Belin and this treasure of the Des Moines community will continue in perpetuity.

Meet the Musicians

With musicians whose talents span multiple instruments and a resonant flair that reaches into the quintet repertoire, the Belin Quartet appears in multiple configurations among members Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn, John Helmich, Jonathan Sturm, Julie Fox Henson (violins), Benjamin Burgdorf (viola), and George Work (cello).

Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn

Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn

Violin

Violinist Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn joined the Belin Quartet in 2005. A Des Moines native, she earned Bachelor of Music Education and Doctor of Music degrees from Northwestern University and a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music.

Tracy was a member of the first violin sections of the Winnipeg Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and has served on the faculty of several Universities including Northwestern, St. Olaf College, Carleton College and North Carolina State University.

John Helmich

John Helmich

Violin

Violinist John Helmich has been a member of the Belin Quartet since 2004. John received his Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and his Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. While there, he was awarded the Howard Hanson Scholarship and graduated with High Distinction.
Julie Fox Henson

Julie Fox Henson

Violin

Violinist Julie Fox Henson has been a member of the Belin Quartet since 2001 and is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony. She performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the area. Julie enjoys a successful teaching studio in the Ames/Des Moines area and was voted the 2010 Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year by the Iowa String Teachers Association.
Jonathan Sturm

Jonathan Sturm

Violin

Dr. Jonathan Sturm, violist, was a founding member of the Belin Quartet in 2000. He brings excellence to the complete spectrum of music: performance as a violin soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony, as a violist in the internationally acclaimed Ames Piano Quartet and as professor of Music History at Iowa State University.
Benjamin Burgdorf

Benjamin Burgdorf

Viola

As a classical performer, Benjamin Burgdorf has served as the violist of Lux String Quartet from 2013-2018 (named 2015-16, 2017-18 Classical MPR Class-Notes Artist), acting principal violist with the Des Moines Symphony, section violist with the Quad City Symphony, a member of the funky jam band Improvestra, a travel-blogging, improvising street artist in Wormwood, and a frequent collaborative soloist with composers both locally and nationally.

Burgdorf is at home performing in both rock venues and classical venues, having shared the stage at sold-out shows with Dessa, Jeremy Messersmith, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

George Work

George Work

Cello

Cellist George Work has been a member of the Belin Quartet since 2008. A professor of cello at Iowa State University and member of the Des Moines Symphony, George holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees of music and a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he also served as teaching assistant to Robert Sylvester.