The Atlantic String Duo holds influences from both sides of the Atlantic. The group is based in Frankfurt, Germany, where both musicians are members of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester). They are dedicated to exploring the repertoire for two violins and violin and viola, from the Baroque to Modern Eras. They are also very passionate about new music and recently presented the world premiere of a work by American composer Kent Carlson. In addition to traditional concerts, they are devoted to musical education and bringing classical music to new audiences. Their concert in the club Orange Peel was featured by the bi-monthly publication Journal Frankfurt as one of the top three recommended Opera/Ballet/Classical events. They have performed in major cities around Europe, and been broadcast on various radio stations. Additionally they have invitations to perform in the USA and other countries.
Since making her solo debut with orchestra at the age of nine, American violinist Rachelle Betancourt has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Since 2011, she has held a full-time position as a violinist in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester). Additionally in recent years, she has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the Strings of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Strings, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Chamber Orchestra (Germany/International), the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen (Germany), the Orquesta Filharmónica de Ecuador (Ecuador), and the Rice University Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra (USA). Ms. Betancourt has been a top prize-winner in numerous international and national competitions. She has performed as a soloist in such venues as the Concert Hall and Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center and Strathmore Hall in Maryland, as well as being heard on the nationally broadcast “From the Top” on NPR. She has also been featured on the public radio stations hr2 and hr3 in Germany and on ValeTV in Venezuela.
A passionate chamber musician, Ms. Betancourt has performed throughout three continents. She has appeared in chamber music recitals in halls such as the Robert-Schumann-Saal in Düsseldorf, Germany and also at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany.
Ms. Betancourt received her Bachelor of Music Degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Rice University under Kathleen Winkler. In 2008 she received a full grant from the Fulbright Commission to study in Germany for a year, and the following school year, she received the Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship from Rice University to continue her studies for another full year. In 2010, she received her Konzertexamen Diplom with Highest Distinction (Auszeichnung), the highest degree in musical performance in Germany, from the Robert Schumann Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf under the tutelage of Ida Bieler. Most recently, she was also awarded a Chamber Music Certificate with Highest Distinction (Auszeichnung) from the Robert-Schumann Hochschule, and during her studies, she was promoted by Yehudi Menhin's "Live Music Now" organization.
Born in Bavaria, Germany, Stefanie began playing the violin at the age of five, and just two years later, she received a first prize in the "Jugend musiziert" competition. Her solo debut with orchestra followed at the age of 12. She has repeatedly been invited by the Austrian Embassy in Nairobi as a guest artist and has presented several chamber music concerts in Kenya, in addition to performing as a soloist with the Nairobi Symphony Orchestra. Additionally she worked with German actor Karl-Heinz Böhm in an evening of music and history, in which Mr. Böhm read letters by Mozart, and Stefanie performed Mozart Violin Duos with her sister. Stefanie is passionate about new music and several modern composers have dedicated pieces to her. Since September 2011 she is a violinist in the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester). She also frequently performs chamber music and solo concerts throughout the Frankfurt metropolitan area, including solo concerts with the Strings of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and her concerts are regularly broadcast by the German public radio station hr2. She is sought after as a chamber musician on both the violin and viola and has been invited to perform at festivals such as Salzburger Festspiele (through the Attergau Institute Orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic) and the Summer Music Festival in Beaufort (France).
Stefanie received her degree in Violin Performance from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, with the rare honor of a unanimous “Auszeichnung” (Highest Distinction), under Professor Klaus Maetzl, violinist of the Alban Berg Quartet. During her time in Vienna, she pursued her interest in viola, studying viola along with violin. After her graduation, she studied intensively with Markus Wolf (First Concertmaster of the Bavarian State Opera) and had regular lessons with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. She was a scholarship recipient in the prestigious Orchestra Academy of the Munich Philharmonic, where she also performed in chamber music concerts with the members of the orchestra, and before becoming a full-time member of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, she received guest contracts in orchestras including the Camerata Salzburg, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan), and the Konzerthaus Orchestra in Berlin.