Show artwork for Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Bach’s Goldberg Variations

{{ vm.availability_status }}
Buy Tickets

Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Monday, December 11, 2023—7:00pm

Monday, December 11, 2023—7:00pm
In Your Community
1 hour and 30 minutes
Tickets start at {{ vm.min_price_formatted }}

At The Commons
7900 Mack Ave, Detroit, MI 48214

There are two sides to the Goldberg Variations. Originally for keyboard and arranged here for string trio, Bach’s iconic theme and variations begins with a simple aria tune before taking turn upon turn down paths of perfection. A clockwork wonder of human achievement, the piece balances the joyful simplicity of wonderful music with wonder at the possibilities of invention.


Goldberg Variations for String Trio


Rachel Harding Klaus

Born in Chicago, Rachel Harding Klaus studied violin with David and Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where the faculty awarded her the coveted Joseph and Elsie Scharff Prize in Violin and the Dr. Jerome Gross Prize. Previous teachers have included Michael Avsharian, Steven Shipps, and Sonja Foster.

In the fall of 2004, she won the concerto competition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and performed the Bartók Concerto with the CIM Orchestra. In June of 2005, Harding Klaus was a prizewinner in the International Irving M. Klein String Competition, the Kingsville Performers Competition, and the Stulber International String Competition. She was also the grand prize winner of the Corpus Christi International String Competition. She has soloed with various orchestras including the Asheville, Kalamazoo, Corpus Christi, and Colorado symphonies.

Harding Klaus is an avid chamber music player and was a violinist for many years in the Harding Piano Trio along with her two sisters. The Harding Trio won prizes in the Fischoff, Coleman, and ASTA chamber music competitions. In 2009, Harding Klaus won a position with the Colorado Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster. In 2012, Harding Klaus joined the DSO as a member of the second violin section, moving to the first violin section the following year.

Mike Chen

Mike Chen received a Bachelor and Master of Music from Northwestern University studying violin with Blair Milton. In 1999 he began playing the viola and studied with Li-Kuo Chang. His other teachers included Michael Strauss, Peter Slowik, Keith Conant, and Baird Dodge.

Chen was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2018, a member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2012, and prior to that, a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 1992 to 1995. He has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony. In 2017, Chen joined the Cincinnati Symphony on its European Festivals Tour.

He received a master’s degree in conducting at Northwestern University in 1999, studying with Victor Yampolsky and Mariusz Smolij. His other conducting teachers include Gilbert Varga, David Zinman, and Murry Sidlin.

Chen was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado in 2008. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Guest Conductor of the Webster University Community Music School’s Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra.

Christopher Hamlen

Christopher Hamlen joined the DSO in 2017 after serving as Principal Bass of the Grand Rapids Symphony for five seasons. Prior to moving to Michigan, he was a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. From 2006–2009, Hamlen was a fellow with the prestigious New World Symphony orchestral training academy in Miami Beach, Florida.

Hamlen received a Graduate Performance Diploma studying with Robert Kesselman and a Bachelor of Music studying with John Hood from the Peabody Conservatory. As a young bassist, Hamlen served as Principal Bass for numerous regional, state, and national youth orchestras, including the Music Educators National Conference All-Eastern States Honors Orchestra and later the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the prestigious New York String Orchestra Seminar in 2003. In 2000, Hamlen performed the Koussevitzky Concerto with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, of which he later became a full-time member.

When he’s not playing his bass, Hamlen can be found with his family including his daughter Claire, his wife Melissa, and their Wheaten Terrier Penny.



Your generous gift makes world-class music at the DSO possible, fueling the community connections, life-changing education and captivating programming that impacts more than 500,000 people a year!

Our Stories

View All
Artwork for Music Bonds

Music Bonds

Explore Story
Artwork for Meet the Musician: Principal Cello Wei Yu

Meet the Musician: Principal Cello Wei Yu

Explore Story