Described as “chamber music at its finest” by Kenneth Tse and “unique and virtuosic” by Barbara Siesel, BETA Quartet is an award-winning ensemble comprised of flutists Eftihia Arkoudis, Tatiana Cassetta, Alyssa Schwartz, and Meg Brennan. BETA is dedicated to exploring and promoting the cutting edge of modern flute music by premiering and performing works by living composers from around the world. The ensemble is actively engaged through concerts, masterclasses, and educational outreach across the country and abroad.
As strong competitors, BETA has won First Prize at the West Virginia Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the Flute Society of Kentucky Quartet Competition, and advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The group has performed and presented workshops at the National Flute Association Convention, Florida Flute Association Convention, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, and the International Flute Symposium. BETA’s activities have been partially funded by grants from The Friends of Flutes Foundation and West Virginia University, and their recognition within the flute community resulted in sponsorship by Flute Specialists, Inc. (Clawson, MI). As of 2019, BETA Quartet is a Trevor James Low Flutes Ensemble.
BETA released their debut album in 2017 with Merandi Records. The album is available through Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and www.betaquartet.com. BETA released their debut album with ℗2017 Merandi Records
Meg Brennan is an active flutist and saxophonist in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 16, she was accepted into the internationally renowned Interlochen Arts Academy where she studied under classical and jazz flutist, Nancy Stagnitta. It was at Interlochen where she had the opportunity to play for respected flutists such as Paula Robison, Jeff Zook, and Greg Patillo. After a masterclass with The Project Trio, she discovered her love for improvisation and began to write her own music, often incorporating beatbox flute. She was featured on Fox 2 News Detroit where she played her own arrangement of the “Hey Arnold” theme song.
Upon graduating from Interlochen in 2011, she decided to pursue both jazz and classical music at Michigan State University where she studied with flutist, Richard Sherman, and jazz saxophonist, Diego Rivera. Over the past three years, she has had the opportunity to play with famous jazz artists like Christian McBride, Kenny Barron, Peter Bernstein, Rodney Whitaker, Jimmy Cobb, Anat Cohen, and Roy Hargrove. Now graduated from Michigan State University, Meg has become active in the Detroit jazz scene and has performed at the Fox Theater, Cliff Bells, Ford Field, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, and The Whitney. In 2017, she released her first single, “Silky Way”, an original composition featuring her on flute. Meg received degrees in classical flute and jazz saxophone, and she is currently teaching flute, saxophone, clarinet, and piano at the Axis Music Academy in West Bloomfield, MI.
EFTIHIA VICTORIA ARKOUDIS
Greek flutist and Trevor James Low Flutes Artist Dr. Eftihia Arkoudis is the Adjunct Flute Professor at Frostburg State University, where she also teaches the course History of Musical Theater.
She is a winner of WVU’s Young Artist and International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition (2016), an alternate winner of Pittsburgh Concert Society and National Flute Association Convention ‘Into the Music’ Masterclass, a finalist for The American Prize Competition (2019), and an alternate finalist of Byron Hester Competition (2015). As an orchestral and chamber musician, she has served as the principal flutist of Orpheus Kammerochester Wien, Junges Tonkünstler Orchester, Greek-Turkish Youth Symphony Orchestra, WVU Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other ensembles, giving her the opportunity to perform and record in prestigious venues of Greece, Austria, Germany, and Turkey. Currently, she performs as a founding member of the award-winning BETA Quartet, with whom she won the Flute Society of Kentucky Flute Quartet Competition and were semifinalists in Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2017).
Arkoudis has performed the world premiere of several new works and has a passion for adding a theatrical element in her interpretations. Her musical activities were supported by grants from WVU and Friends of Flutes Foundation, the Susan B. Hardesty, Eleana T. Donley, and Valerie Canady scholarships. She has performed in the masterclasses of Alberto Almarza, Krzysztof Kaczka, Lorna McGhee, Franscesca Arnorne, Erwin Klambauer, and Caroline Debonne, and was selected as a performer for the Jasmine Choi International Masterclass in Austria (2013) and William Bennett Flute Academy in the US (2017).
Eftihia graduated with her DMA and MM from West Virginia University while on an assistantship. She holds artistic diplomas with honorary awards from Prayner Konservatorium Wien and the Athens Conservatoire, and has a Bachelor’s in Science from the Technological Institute of Athens. Her primary teachers are Nina Assimakopoulos, Reza Najfar, Urs Ruttiman, Panagioti Drakos, and Danae Kioupouroglou.
Tatiana Cassetta is an active freelance musician and teacher in Metro-Detroit. At age 23, she had her debut performance at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. As a soloist and active competitor, she as won various awards including Finalist in the 2018 SEMFA Ervin Monroe Young Artist Competition, First Prize in the 2017 West Virginia University Young Artist Competition, First Prize in the 2017 Golden Classical Music Awards, First Prize in the 2016 Greatest Composers Competitions, First Alternate in the 2017 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, and First Prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition. Additionally, Tatiana is a recipient of the 2016 Valerie Canady Scholarship.
As a performer and chamber musician, Tatiana performs regularly with 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps and the Allegro Chamber Orchestra of Lancaster. Tatiana is currently a private instructor at Flute Specialists, Inc. where she is also the Artist-in-Residence. She has a private studio and does clinics at several high schools throughout Metro-Detroit. Previously, Tatiana held the position of Associate Teacher of Flute and Piccolo at the West Virginia Community Music Program from 2015-2017.
Tatiana received her Master’s of Music from West Virginia University. Originally from Royal Oak Michigan, Tatiana received her Bachelor’s of Music from Michigan State University. Her primary teachers include Jeff Zook, Richard Sherman, and Nina Assimakopoulos.
Dr. Alyssa Schwartz comes from Jamestown, New York and is the Temporary Assistant Professor of Flute and Musicology at Fairmont State University. Previously, she has served as Contributing Faculty in Flute at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and as a Lecturer of Music Theory and Music Education at West Virginia University. She debuted at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in November 2017 and returned for a second performance the same month as a result of winning 1st prize in the 2017 Golden Classical Music International Competition and 2nd Prize in the 2017 Concert Artists International Music Competition.
Alyssa is a competitive performer, winning the 2019 Florida Flute Association Orchestral Excerpts Masterclass Competition, 1st Prize in the 2017 International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition Senior Division for which she gave her debut performance at the Wiener Saal Mozarteum in July 2017, 2nd Prize in the 2016 International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2016 Golden Classical Music Awards Senior Division, 3rd Prize in the 2016 Golden Classical Music Awards Chamber Music Division, 1st Prize in the 2016 Oklahoma Flute Society Collegiate Competition, 3rd Prize in the 2016 Kentucky Flute Society Due Competition, and 2nd Prize in the 2013 International Flute Symposium Emerging Artist Competition. As a founding member of the BETA Quartet, Alyssa participated as a semi-finalist in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, won 1st Prize in the 2017 Kentucky Flute Society Quartet Competition, and won 1st Prize in the 2016 WV MTNA Chamber Winds Competition. A serious academician and scholar, Alyssa has also earned numerous scholarships throughout her career, including the Helga Hulse Mozart Club Music Scholarship in 2012, 2012, and 2016, the West Virginia University Student Memorial Scholarship in 2012, the A. A. Amidon Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Walter & Grace Hazzard Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Louis T. Larson Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the Juliet Anderson Rosch Scholarship in 2012 and 2013, the West Virginia University Music Scholarship in 2012, the Michigan State University Music Scholarship from 2006-2010, the National Honors College Scholarship Award from 2006-2010, and the CCMTA Overall Best Musician Award in 2006.
Employed as the Assistant Director of the International Flute Symposium in 2013, Alyssa was promoted the following year to the position of Director and has been a driving force in the promotion and growth of IFS, bringing renowned international soloist Jasmine Choi to the International Flute Symposium in July 2017.
A new music advocate, Alyssa has premiered a number of new works including “Endless Endless Endless” by Shelley Washington (May 2017) and “Asphyxia” by Nicole Chamberlain. With BETA Quartet, she has premiered “Nuraghi Warriors” by Anže Rozman (February 2019), “Recitation Book” by David Maslanka, arranged for flute quartet by Tatiana Cassetta (February 2019), and “In Sight” by Matthew Heap (March 2018).
Alyssa has appeared as a featured soloist in 2017 with the West Virginia University Wind Symphony and on several occasions with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony. She has performed as the principle flute with the Allegheny Chamber Players, the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, the West Virginia University Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia University Faculty Chamber Players, and the Brasil Jazz Ensemble. She has also performed with the BETA Quartet, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Hillcrest Chamber Ensemble, and Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra.
A dedicated and successful private studio teacher, Alyssa is employed by the WVU Community Music Program as a Senior Instructor of Flute and Piano and has previously worked for String Connection Academy of Music as a private woodwind and piano instructor while living in Michigan.
Her primary teachers include Alberto Almarza of Carnegie Mellon University, Nina Assimakopoulos of West Virginia University, Richard Sherman of Michigan State University, Dr. Susan Royal of Fredonai State University, and Nicole Zenns. Alyssa has performed for such renowned flutists as Jim Walker, Jeffrey Khaner, Lorna McGhee, Trudy Kane, Jeffrey Zook, Gary Schocker, Jennifer Conner, Rhian Kenny, Nancy Stagnitta, Shelley Binder, and Cobus Du Toit.