Cellist Returns to Perform at MAW

By Scott Craig   |   July 2, 2024
Tim Beccue at the Peabody Institute (photo by Brad Elliott)

Westmont alumnus and local resident Tim Beccue (’18) is back on campus, this time as a fellow of the Music Academy of the West. Since 2016, Westmont houses 140 exceptional young classical musicians each summer for the academy, which provides live events through Aug. 3. Visit musicacademy.org for a full calendar of concerts. 

“I have lots of memories embedded throughout Westmont’s campus from my time as an undergrad,” he says. “Being back with a different organization and as a different person myself feels quite surreal, as the old memories bleed into the present. I’m glad to be back, and looking forward to making more great memories in this beautiful setting.”

Beccue, who completed a master’s degree in cello performance at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, wanted to continue to grow as a performer through the summer. “I had my eye on this particular festival in part because Santa Barbara is my home,” he says. “I’m really excited to be able to perform in my home city, where I can invite my family and friends to attend.”

Beccue at Westmont in 2016 (photo by Brad Elliott)

He is looking forward to performing a repertoire he describes as wonderfully challenging, both in quantity and quality. “With orchestra concerts every week, there are so many incredible works that I’ll get the chance to perform,” he says. “I’m especially excited for Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9” from the New World Symphony, and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 6.” Perhaps it will be like drinking from a firehose, but I can’t wait.”

True to Westmont’s liberal arts’ mission, Beccue graduated with a degree in physics. As an undergrad, he took the initiative to learn how to take photos with the Keck Telescope on campus. “It’s a fun toy, and I had it all to myself,” he says. See the images he created at timspacepics.weebly.com.

After graduating, he got a software position with Las Cumbres Observatory in Santa Barbara, a small nonprofit with a worldwide network of robotically operated telescopes that astronomy researchers use to monitor targets and events. “Software engineering felt like a natural continuation of my physics background,” he says. 

Next year, Beccue returns to Baltimore for a string quartet residency with Mount Vernon Virtuosi, an organization founded by his former teacher, Amit Peled. “I’m excited, not just because I’ve always dreamed of playing in a fulltime string quartet, but also because of the program’s unique vision to have musicians living and working in underserved communities in Baltimore,” he says.  


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