June 28th, 2022

Belin Quartet Concert Program

Julie Fox Henson, violin 
Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn, violin  
Jonathan Sturm, viola  
George Work, cello

Beethoven String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3

I. Andante con moto – Allegro vivace
II. Andante con moto quasi allegretto
III. Menuetto grazioso
IV. Allegro molto

Program notes

Commissioned in 1805 by Count Andreas Razumovsky, Beethoven composed three string quartets to be performed by the Schupanzzigh Quartet. Whereas most string quartets of the early 19th century were performed exclusively for the entertainment of aristocrats, Beethoven’s Razumovsky Cycle shifted the genre into the concert hall. The cycle later premiered in Vienna in 1807 and was published as a set the following year. Despite the intricate melodies and compositional ambition of Beethoven, the pieces were initially ill-received by audiences. Until then, many of his compositions had been for amateur chamber ensembles and were more simplistic. In turn, musicians and listeners alike were quick to label the pieces “unusual” and too challenging for any player to perform. Fast forward 200 years, the Razumovsky Cycle has become a fan favorite and staple in the string quartet repertoire.

Of the three pieces in the set, the third — No.9 in C Major— is regarded as the most individualistic with its dramatic flair and rousing themes. Whereas the other two have clearly identifiable Russian themes, per the request of Razumovsky, the final quartet does not. The piece begins with a cutting chord, followed immediately by silence. This eases back into a serene melody later broken by the livelier first theme. The second movement shifts into a more somber and dark style, sometimes compared to the desolate Siberian landscape. The third movement returns to the dream-like minuets of the period concluding with a bridge directly into the allegro molto. The final movement creates a euphoric ending to the Razumovsky Cycle with no shortage of energy from the quartet.

For more than 20 years, Belin Quartet concerts have been presented to our community at no charge through the generosity of the Belin Family.

Meet the Musicians

About the Belin Quartet

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).

More about the Quartet
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.

Rebecca Vieker

Viola

Rebecca Vieker is a performer and teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. Born in Detroit, Rebecca began violin lessons at the age of 4 and began taking viola lessons during high school. She completed a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying under Jonah Sirota of the Chiara Quartet. She went on to earn a Master’s degree and a Performance Diploma from Boston University, under the tutelage of Michelle LaCourse.
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.

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23rd Summer Season

Belin Quartet Summer Concert Series

Join us on the lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens on Tuesday evenings at 5:30 PM for free performances by the Belin Quartet.

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