BETA Quartet, graduate flute students and alumna Brittany Trotter, Eftihia Arkoudis, Tatiana Cassetta and Alyssa Schwartz, have successfully produced their debut album with local recording engineer, Alexander Merandi. The ensemble will celebrate the release of this recording Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church in Morgantown.
This self-titled album includes a well-rounded program of newer works, which supports one of BETA’s values of championing contemporary music by living composers. The varied nature of the repertoire showcases many different compositional and flute-playing techniques, displaying everything from traditional harmonies as heard in “Aqua” in Auqua Ventus by Anze Rozman to rapid, virtuosic technique as heard in Steeley Pause by Jennifer Higdon to beat-boxing and modern percussive effects as heard in Raga Sept by Derek Charke.
BETA Quartet came onto the classical chamber music scene in August 2016. Since their inception, they have competed in various chamber music competitions, winning First Prize at the West Virginia Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chamber Music Competition (2016), Alternate Winner at the MTNA Eastern Regional Division Chamber Music Competition (2017), and First Prize at the Flute Society of Kentucky Quartet Competition (2017). BETA Quartet has been accepted to perform recitals and present workshops at various flute conventions throughout the region. Most notably, the group advanced to the semi-final round at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana.
“Our primary goal is to share our music with the world. We love what we do,” said Eftihia Arkoudis, second year doctoral candidate from Greece. “We have performed our selected works on the album so much this past year that recording an album seemed like the next major step to take as a professional ensemble.”
Alyssa Schwartz, a third-year doctoral candidate, attributes BETA Quartet’s success in competitions and conferences over the past academic year as one of the main inspirations for this recording project. “It is due to some of our most significant success, such as competing in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, that I began to believe so firmly that BETA Quartet has potential to be something unique and lasting,” said Schwartz, a native of Jamestown, NY. “I do not think we would be at this point, pursuing our first album, if we had not experienced many of the successes that we have so far!”
The success of this project was realized with the help of many generous sponsors and supporters of classical music. “Our Indiegogo campaign is exciting and unique for many reasons,” said Schwartz. “Musically, we strive to bring our unique energy to every piece while staying true to the vision of each composer.” On June 8th, BETA launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo to raise the funds to cover production costs, CD manufacturing, mechanical licenses, and distribution. The campaign was extremely successful by its end in August, exceeding the goals and bringing in 103% of the needed funding. “Every donation has been so helpful, whether $5 or $500. The arts have lost a lot of support over the years, and I deeply appreciate those who still support us,” said Tatiana Cassetta, from Royal Oak, Michigan, who recently graduated with her Masters in Flute Performance. “We are so excited and grateful for all the support we have received!”
BETA is incredibly grateful for their sponsors, the talents and coaching of their instructor, Professor Nina Assimakopoulos, and their devoted recording artist, Alexander Merandi. “We are deeply indebted to the coaching of our wonderful flute professor and the sound mastering skills of our talented recording engineer. They are key to BETA’s quintessential sound,” said Brittany Trotter, second year doctoral candidate from Laurel, Mississippi. “We could not have completed this project without their time and effort and the support of our generous donors.”
The album will be available for purchase at the venue after their performance and is also available through their website. To learn more about the group, visit www.betaquartet.com. You can also follow the BETA Quartet on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube @BETAQuartet.For more information visit the BETA Quartet website.