Jean and Jim Berkenstock are the musical instigators of Midsummer’s Music Festival. Their careers each have spanned more than forty years serving during that time as principal players (flute and bassoon, respectively) in the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Music Festival on Chicago’s lakefront, and the Chicago Philharmonic. They both served on the faculty of the Chicago College for Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Jim and Jean have three children and six grandchildren, all of whom enjoy Door County.
Jean is a former member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras and in chamber music performances throughout the Chicago area. She is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, and received additional training in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago while studying with Donald Peck. Jean has also performed on numerous occasions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Contemporary Chamber Players at the University of Chicago, and many ballet orchestras. She particularly enjoys spending time in her home near Gills Rock with Jim, sewing, cooking, hiking, and reading.
Jim graduated from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in music history and is co-author of Joseph Haydn in Literature: A Bibliography, published by the Haydn Institute. His undergraduate degree is from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Jim has made numerous solo appearances with Chicago area orchestras and has extensive experience in radio and television commercials. In 2002, Jim received the Presidential Scholars’ Teacher Recognition Award from the Department of Education. Jim is also a Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University. His hobbies are stone masonry, exploring the woods, juggling, and finding lost chamber music masterpieces.