Festival Artists

Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio  •  Artistic Director, Violin

Described as a “violinist who most often takes your breath away” by Gramophone Magazine, Stephanie has performed as a soloist and chamber musician througout North and South America, Europe and Africa. Currently Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Nevada, Reno (unr.edu), her students have won orchestra and teaching positions in the U.S. and abroad. Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony from 1994-2007, she founded and has been Artistic Director of Cactus Pear Music Festival since 1997. Former First Assistant Principal Second Violin of The Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnanyi, she toured and recorded internationally with this ensemble for eight seasons. With a discography of over seventy-five orchestral and chamber music CDs, Stephanie just released her latest CD, Soaring Solo on the MSR label. She also serves as Concertmaster of California’s Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra in Ohio. Stephanie’s San Antonio performances are generously sponsored in their entirety by the RUSSELL HILL ROGERS FUND FOR THE ARTS.

 

Carol Cook  •  Viola

Principal Violist, Lyric Opera in Chicago, and hailed by the Boston Globe as a "terrific violist," Carol Cook made her concerto debut at aged 16 and has since appeared in concert halls worldwide as both a soloist and chamber musician. As a soloist she has performed with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston, the Edinburgh Symphony, the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, the Cambridge Sinfonia and the Edinburgh Players, among others. Ms Cook has also appeared as a chamber musician at summer festivals in Banff, Canada, Verbier International Festival in Switzerland, and the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, As a member of the Broyhill Ensemble, they recently released a CD of the "Tsontakis Piano Quartet Trilogy" on the Koch label. Carol was until recently a member of the "Appalachia Waltz Trio" with the Grammy Award winning violinist Mark O'Connor. Carol has appeared as guest Principal Viola with numerous orchestras including the highly acclaimed Australian Chamber Orchestra with whom she toured extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand during the summer of '03. She will be joining them again this year on their US tour. She has frequently performed with the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and is currently also a member of the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. Carol holds a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Hsin-Yun Huang and Toby Appel, and an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory. A native of Scotland, Carol is also an accomplished Scottish fiddler. She won her first fiddle competition aged 8 and went on to win numerous awards for her playing including the National Young Fiddler of the Year competition in 1992. She released a solo album the following year entitled 'The Cook Collection' and her playing has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland and Moray Firth Radio.

 

Scott Cuellar  •  Piano

Gold medal winner of the 2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he also received prizes for the best performance of both a Romantic and Russian work, Scott was the 1st place winner in the solo division of the 2013 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, where he also took 2nd place in the concerto division, and was the winner of the Krenek Prize for the best performance of a sonata by Ernst Krenek. He has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Newport Music Festival, the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in the People’s Republic of China, to name a few. He has appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Orchestra, the Lima (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, the Waring Festival Orchestra, both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Civic Symphonies, among others. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studies with Jon Kimura Parker.

 

Christina Scott Edelen  •  Harpsichord

Hailed as a “superb harpsichordist” by the Kansas City Star, Christina Edelen brings a depth of experience, knowledge, and virtuosity to keyboard performance and teaching in a career spanning three decades in the United States and Europe. On organ, harpsichord, clavichord, and fortepiano, Ms Edelen has performed as soloist and in numerous ensembles, concert series and festivals. She studied at the Indiana University Early Music Institute and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and was a finalist at the Bodky International Competition. Ms. Edelen is a popular teacher and lecturer, and has served on the faculties of Baylor University and the University of Houston. She holds a PhD in 17th century English Musical philosophy, and has published articles in both the US and Sweden. Recordings include An Early Keyboard Sampler, Early English Organ Concertos, and the Sonatas for Flute and harpsichord by Boismortier. Ms. Edelen is director of the Rienzi Early Music Concert Series, and organist and choirmaster at the Anglican Church in The Hague, the Netherlands.

 

Fred Edelen  •  Cello

Fred Edelen performs throughout the US and Europe on both modern and Baroque cello as orchestral cellist, chamber musician, and recitalist. Currently Assistant Solocellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he was formerly cellist with the Houston Symphony and Principal Cellist of the San Antonio Symphony.  Described as a “masterful soloist” with “astonishingly expressive style and gorgeous tone,” he has appeared as soloist with the Phoenix, San Antonio, and Houston Symphony orchestras, and was a prize winner at the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition. An avid performer on Baroque cello, Mr. Edelen studied at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University and continued his Baroque studies as a Fulbright scholar in The Hague. He has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, and returns to the US each summer to teach and perform at the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio. He performs extensively with his wife harpsichordist Christina Edelen as Duo Edelen.

 

Holgen Gjoni  •  Assistant Education Director

Cellist with the San Antonio Symphony, Holdgen holds degrees from New England Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory and Bucharest University of Music. He studied with cellists Paul Katz, Bonnie Hampton, Andrew Mark and Marin Cazacu. He played in masterclasses for YoYo Ma, Janos Starker, Natalia Gutman, Franz Helmerson, Radu Aldulescu and has worked extensively with chamber music experts such as Joel Smirnoff, Samuel Rhodes and Joel Krosnick of the Juilliard String Quartet, Martha Katz of the Cleveland String Quartet, Norman Fisher and Mark Sokol of the Concord String Quartet and Pamela Frank, to name a few. Mr. Gjoni joined the cello section of the San Antonio Symphony in September 2015 and is Adjunct Professor of Cello at Saint Mary's University.

 

Timothy Jones  •  Baritone

Timothy enjoys a reputation as an exciting presence on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and South America. His eagerly anticipated performances combine intelligent musicianship, commanding vocal technique and an unique ability to connect with audiences. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dr. Jones made his New York debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in February 2000. His operatic performances include leading roles in Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Falstaff, Macbeth, La Traviata, Porgy and Bess, Four Saints in Three Acts, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Owen Wingrave, Carmen, La Damnation de Faust, Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, Die Zauberflöte, Hansel and Gretel, and Die Fledermaus. A favorite of festival audiences, Mr. Jones is highly regarded for his interpretation of art song and lieder. He is frequently heard with Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, the Victoria Bach Festival, New Texas Festival, Round Top Music Festival, SOLI and the Cactus Pear Music Festival.. The Jeff Glass Festival Artist

 

Stephanie Jutt  •  Flute

Her elegant artistry and passionate intellect have inspired audiences and her groundbreaking performances of new music, transcriptions and traditional repertoire have made her a model for adventurous flutists everywhere. Stephanie is recently retired as flute professor at U. of Wisconsin-Madison. She

received the Concert Artist Guild and Pro Musicis International Awards, and was a finalist in the Naumburg Competition. Stephanie Jutt is co-founder and artistic director, with pianist Jeffrey Sykes, of the critically acclaimed three-week chamber music festival, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society: www.bachdancinganddynamite.org. The festival presented its twenty-fifth season in June, 2016. Stephanie has recorded for Centaur and GM Records, and has just released an Albany Records CD of Latin American and Spanish repertoire.

 

Lachezar Kostov  •  Cello

Assistant Principal Cello of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Lachezar has appeared as a soloist in some of the world's leading concert venues. In October 2011, Lachezar and pianist Viktor Valkov won the First Prize and all the special prizes at the Third International Liszt-Garrison Piano and Duo Competition in Baltimore, MD. First prize winner at the 2006 National MTNA Young Artists Competition, he has won numerous prizes including the Cello Award at the 2005 Kingsville Competition and the Grand Prix at the International Music and Earth Competition in Bulgaria. Mr. Kostov has appeared as a guest soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Japan, Italy, Germany, the UK and Bulgaria.

 

Kyuhee Park  •  Guitar

Born in Incheon city, South Korea, in 1985, Ms. Park started to study guitar when she was 3 years old and won 1st prize in the Youth Division of the National Korean Guitar Competition at 9 years old. In 2004, she enrolled in the Tokyo College of Music. She has participated in opera tours conducted by Maestro Seiji Ozawa and learned under the tutelage of leading Japanese classical guitarists Shin-ichi Fukuda and Kiyoshi Shomura. Ms. Park is now studying in Vienna Music University under Alvaro Pierri. Ms. Park has been awarded many prizes in numerous competitions: 2005 Korean guitar music competition, 1st Prize; 2007 Heinsberg International Guitar Competition, 1st Prize and Audience Prize; 2008 Printemps de la Guitare International Competition, 1st Prize; Koblenz international Guitar Competition, 2nd Prize; 2010 Agustin Barrios International Guitar Competition, 1st Prize; 2012 Alhambra International Guitar Competition, 1st Prize and Audience Prize. Ms. Park made her CD debut with “Sueño” from FONTEC (Japan) in 2010 and “Sonata Noir” in 2012. Both CDs have highly acclaimed . In August, 2012, she started new collaboration with NIPPON COLUMBIA CO., LTD. and will soon release ”Spanish Journey.”

 

Dmitri Pogorelov  •  Violin

A critically acclaimed violinist, the Flint Journal wrote “...The audience was collectively stunned by Pogorelov's fearless technical display. Clearly this artist has the makings of a violin superstar.” At an early age, Dmitri won prestigious solo and chamber music competitions in his native Russia, which led to numerous performances with orchestras in the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and Russia. A champion of contemporary works, he has

recently recorded works by Eric Ewazen, Gunther Schuller, Yehudi Wyner, John Heiss, and Kati Agocs for Albany Records as member of Ibis Camerata ensemble. He currently is first violin of the Kontras String Quartet, the Quartet in Residence with the Western Piedmont Symphony, and that orchestra's concertmaster; he is a violin faculty member at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. A seasoned orchestral performer, Dmitri has worked under Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Sir Mark Elder, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Cliff Colnot, Larry Rachleff, and Esa-Pekka Salonen as Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony's Civic Orchestra.

 

Beth Rapier  •  Cello

Assistant Principal Cello of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1991 and a founding member of the Rosalyra String Quartet, Beth was twice a McKnight Artist Award winner. With the Rosalyra she has recorded works by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Fauré and Shostakovich for the Boston Records and Artegra labels. She is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals nationally. As a guest soloist, Beth has appeared with the Colorado Philharmonic and Louisville Symphony Orchestras. During the 2013-14 season she joined the cello section of the Dallas Symphony for concerts on its European tour as well as in Dallas.

 

Anthony Ross  •  Cello

Principal Cello of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1991, Tony has soloed numerous times with the orchestra, performing concertos by Schumann, Dvořák, Victor Herbert, James MacMillan, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Shostakovich, as well as many chamber works. He was featured as soloist in October 2015 performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Before joining the Minnesota Orchestra, Tony was Principal Cello of the Rochester Philharmonic. Away from Orchestra Hall, he is active as a chamber musician, festival performer and educator. He is a member of Accordo, a chamber group made up of principal string players from the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. His recordings include Bernstein’s Three Meditations with the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller, and works of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter for Boston Records. Tony has received McKnight Artist Awards for his solo and duo performances.

 

Ilya Shterenberg  •  Clarinet

Principal Clarinetist of the San Antonio Symphony and Principal Clarinetist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Ilya Shterenberg has been hailed by the press as “...possessing that miraculous gift of innate musical sense...music seemed to flow toward the infinite, as if divinely ordained.” He has been featured as Principal clarinetist with Cincinnati and Seattle symphonies, and has collaborated with some of the most notable conductors of our time. Ilya is a member of Olmos Ensemble, made up of principal woodwind players from the San Antonio Symphony. He has appeared with the Colorado, Britt, as well as the Piccolo Spoleto (USA) Festivals. He performs frequently as a recitalist and chamber music artist with CPMF and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival. Ilya is a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist.

 

Colin Sorgi  •  Violin

Hailed by The Guardian as an artist with "unwavering conviction – subtle, striking, and moving," Colin Sorgi is the newest member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's viola section. Equally at home on violin and viola, Colin is the former Concertmaster of the National Philharmonic and has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra (Lucerne, Switzerland), Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and the Amarillo, Annapolis and York Symphonies, as well as guest Principal Second Violin with the Canadian National Arts Centre Orchestra. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Colin holds degrees from both the Peabody Conservatory and Indiana University studying with renowned violinists Herbert Greenberg and Jaime Laredo. His other teachers have included Pinchas Zukerman and Jorja Fleezanis. He made his solo debut at the Aspen Music Festival in 2012 and has since been heard as soloist and in recital on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and at the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, among others. In August 2015, Colin made his debut at the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Switzerland giving the European premiere of the concerto for electric violin and orchestra, “Forever and Ever,” by Tod Machover (Musical America’s 2015 Composer of the Year). Colin currently resides in Baltimore with his wife Jaclyn and their first child Clara, who they welcomed this past May.

 

Craig Sorgi  •  Education Director

Craig has been a member of the San Antonio Symphony First Violin section since 1982 and during the 2004-06 and 2012-13 concert seasons he was appointed Acting Assistant Concertmaster. Craig was also the Concertmaster of the San Antonio Opera from 1999 until it ceased operations in 2012. In 2005, he was invited by Music Director David Mairs to be the Concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Craig has been very active as a chamber musician and solo recitalist since his arrival in the South Texas area. From 2011-2018 Craig was the founder and Artistic Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony Chamber Players. Late 2018/early 2019 will see the launch of a new chamber music project, the Trivium Chamber Ensemble, which Craig has started with several of his SA Symphony colleagues and for which he will also serve as Artistic Director. Music education has also played an important part in Craig’s career. In 2003 he joined the music faculty of Trinity University where he served as Adjunct Professor of Violin until 2016. And since 2008 Craig has served as the Education Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival’s Young Artist Program. Craig is married to Melanie, a career music educator. He and his wife are the proud parents of two wonderful sons: Baltimore Symphony violist Colin; and Los Angeles-based visual effects artist Cameron. In spring of 2018 Craig and Melanie were excited to welcome Clara, their first grandchild, to the family.

 

Jeffrey Sykes  •  Program Notes

Jeffrey has performed as a recitalist throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Chile. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society of Wisconsin now in its twenty-seventh season, and is a regular guest artist at CPMF and Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. For the last nineteen years, Mr. Sykes served as the Music Director of Opera for the Young, a preeminent producer and presenter of opera for children that has introduced more than two million children to opera. He works extensively as a vocal coach throughout the U.S. and teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. He also joined the faculty of California State University-East Bay in the fall of 2008 where he directs the piano accompanying and vocal coaching programs. He has recorded for the Albany, CRI, Mandala, Centaur, and Cactus Pear record labels.

 

Mark Teplitsky  •  Flute

Introduced as "shining in the storm" by the San Antonio Express News, Mark was appointed Principal Flute with the San Antonio Symphony in the summer of 2016. Born to Russian immigrants in Jerusalem, Israel, Mark began his musical studies when moving to the United States at age 12. Mark has attended, on full-scholarship, the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music, and the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where he received his Master’s Diploma. As winner of the Rice University Concerto Competition, Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, Los Angeles Center for the Performing Arts Spotlights Competition and NPR's "From the Top" Competition, he has performed in halls throughout the United States. Mark was thrilled to have been invited as a core member of the Olmos Ensemble upon his arrival in San Antonio.

 

Ryo Yanagitani  •  Piano

Canadian pianist Ryo Yanagitani burst onto the classical music scene with a gold medal win at the 10th San Antonio International Piano Competition. He has since performed as soloist with orchestras around the world including the Baltimore Symphony and Tokyo Kioi Symphonietta, and has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress, Suntory Hall, and Salle Cortot, among others. Ryo received an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute, as well as a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music. He currently resides in Washington DC and holds the post of Artistic Director for the Ryuji Ueno Foundation, an organization dedicated to the continued support of the arts.