Berkeley Borkert, 16, began studying cello at age 8 through the Midwest Conservatory of Music. Through this conservatory, had the opportunity to perform on a week-long tour of Austria, in addition to two showcases at Carnegie Hall. As a soloist, she received 2nd place in the 2021 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Music Performance Competition, with entries coming from 32 states and 10 countries. Currently, Berkeley serves as a cellist in the symphony orchestra at Midwest Young Artists Conservatory in Highwood, Illinois, as well as the principal cellist of the Woodlands Academy Orchestra. She also participates in the intensive chamber music program there as a member of the Calliope String Quartet, and she serves as a mentor for their Young Music Scholars program, an initiative to provide high-quality music education to students from underprivileged communities. Berkeley was selected to perform as a soloist in MYAC’s I’Solisti Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Charles Pickler, former principal violist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her studies of cello, Berkeley is a classically trained soprano and has garnered several 1st place awards at the Granquist Music Competition in Geneva, Illinois, two 2nd place awards at the Fox Valley Rising Stars Vocal Competition, and has received distinction in the ILMEA District 7 honor choir for three years. She has won first place awards at the National Heritage Festival in 2019 with her school choir, and has performed solo pieces around the Chicago area with the Schaumburg Youth Choir, Elgin Children’s Chorus, and plans to direct her school’s acapella choir as a rising senior.
You can find Berkeley’s performance here.