Grammy Award-winning cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio first leapt to international attention when she was a winner at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, Russia. As a result of her medal, Carnegie Hall invited Ms. Sant’Ambrogio to perform a recital that was filmed by CBS News as part of a profile about her, which was televised nationally. The New York Times described Ms. Sant’Ambrogio’s New York debut as “sheer pleasure.”
Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as Atlanta, the Beijing Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Budapest, Chicago, Dallas, Moscow State Philharmonic, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Osaka Century Orchestra (Japan), St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle; she has performed throughout the world at major music centers and festivals including Aspen, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Konzert Huset in Stockholm, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Musikverein in Vienna, Ravinia, Orchard and Suntory Halls in Tokyo and Great Mountain Festival in Korea.
Always looking to push the boundaries of classical music, in 2011, Sara performed with Sting, Trudie Styler, and Joshua Bell in the production of “Twin Spirits,” the story of the love affair between Robert and Clara Schumann. This summer, a track from Sara’s solo cd, “Dreaming,” was featured as the opening soundtrack of the HBO award winning documentary, “A Matter of Taste.” Miss Sant’Ambrogio has also collaborated with the New York City Ballet in seven highly successful sold out concerts at Lincoln Center performing The Bach Cello Suites and has performed with Rufus Wainwright in the inauguration of a new concert series at the National Arts Club in New York City. Sara has recorded with the rock group VAST, the Spanish hip hop singer Beatrice, and another piece from “Dreaming” was featured in the soundtrack of the documentary “Jones Beach Boys.”
Ms. Sant’Ambrogio started cello studies with her father John Sant’Ambrogio, principal cellist of the St. Louis Symphony, and at the age of 16 was invited on full scholarship to study with David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music. Three years later world renowned cellist Leonard Rose invited Ms. Sant’Ambrogio to study at The Juilliard School; within weeks of arriving, she won the all-Juilliard Schumann Cello Concerto Competition, resulting in the first of many performances at Lincoln Center.
In addition to the Tchaikovsky Medal, Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has won numerous international competitions, including The Whitaker, The Dealey, Artists International, and Palm Beach awards. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio won a Grammy Award for her performance of Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles” on Koch Records. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has been profiled in Strings, Glamour, Gramophone, Vogue, Strad, Elle, In Fashion, Bon Appetit, Detour, Travel and Leisure, Fanfare and Swing magazines, as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, on CBS, ABC, PBS, Fox, USA and CNN networks. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio is the subject of a feature length documentary, which has had multiple airings nationwide on PBS and international networks. She currently has 4 music videos playing on Classic FM TV in the UK and Europe and dozens of other videos on online networks.
Ms. Sant’Ambrogio is a founding member of the Eroica Trio. The Trio won the prestigious 1991 Naumburg Award, resulting in an acclaimed Lincoln Center debut and has since extensively toured the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1997 the Trio opened the “Distinctive Debuts” series at Carnegie Hall, and that year represented Carnegie Hall as the official chamber music ensemble in concerts worldwide. While touring the globe, Eroica has released eight celebrated recordings for Angel EMI Classics Records, garnering multiple Grammy nominations.
Recent highlights for Miss Sant’Ambrogio, were a Grammy nomination for the Eroica Trio’s eighth cd “An American Journey”, the release of her “Bach Solo Cello Suites, Vol. I” which Gramophone Magazine described as “a miracle of sound” and says “she comes impressively close to the soul of Bach [in a] profoundly compassionate paean to the human spirit”, a series of Bach concerts in non traditional venues across the U.S. sponsored by Chimney Rock Winery, her first Beethoven cycle performing all the Sonatas and Variations with pianist William Ransom in five cities, a return to some of her favorite great concert halls in Germany performing the Beethoven Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic and a second tour to New Zealand with the Eroica Trio.
In October of 2011, Sara complimented her “Bach Solo Cello Suites, Vol. I” (Suites 1, 3, & 5) recording with the release of Volume II (Bach Solo Cello Suites 2, 4, & 6). The new album is one of the first classical recordings offered as an environmentally friendly reusable thumb drive with multimedia content. In May 2011, Sara completed an all Chopin recording which will be released in the Spring of 2012. Sara is also currently recording an all Latin album which will be released before the Spring of 2012. In addition to her solo performances in the 11-12 season, this fall, Sara’s Trio, Eroica perfromed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 10 of the most prestigious American concert halls.
Miss Sant’Ambrogio performs on a Johannes Gagliano cello, Napoli, ca.1800.
Sara’s CDs, photographs, and tour information are available below, at www.amazon.com, and on iTunes. For the latest information about Sara visit her on Facebook, search sara.santambrogio1.
Eroica Trio CDs are also available at the links below, at www.eroicatrio.com, www.amazon.com, and iTunes.
Mark Alpert at Columbia Artists Management Inc. in New York is the exclusive management of both Sara Sant’Ambrogio and the Eroica Trio.
To book Sara for a performance, visit www.cami.com.
Hailed for her “sensitive, flexible, and tempestuous dexterity,” (Fanfare Magazine) pianist Michelle Schumann has built a reputation for evocative and moving performances that are infused with unique energy and zeal. Winner of the 2006 Janice K. Hodges Competition for Contemporary Music, Schumann’s programs feature meticulously integrated selections of classic and contemporary repertoire producing performances that are “smart, irresistible, and utterly captivating.” (Austin-American Statesman) Recent international performances have taken her to the City de la Musique-Paris, Conservatoire de Gabriel Faure, and Conservatoire de Maurice Ravel in France; Birmingham Conservatory and St. Mary’s Cathedral-Haxby in England; the Roxy Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland; and the Salzburger Dom Cathedral and Konzervatorium Wien in Austria.
Michelle’s most irresistible qualities as a performer include her unabashed musical expression and her ability to connect with audiences. Her performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue conducted by Peter Bay of the Austin Symphony was named the #1 Classical Arts Event of 2008 by the Austin Chronicle. Additional accolades include the 2009 award for “Best Instrumentalist” and the 2006, 2007, and 2008 award for “Best Chamber Music Performance” given by the Austin Critics’ Table. While deeply steeped in the creative-cultural community of her hometown, Michelle has also been a featured performer at international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, Ethos Contemporary Music Festival, San Angelo Piano Festival, Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival, International Festival Institute at Round Top, Long Beach Opera Festival, Bang-on-a-Can Summer Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art, Banff Festival of Music and Sound, Snake River Chamber Music Festival, Victoria Bach Festival, Victoria International Festival, and Tanglewood.
Praised for her versatility, Schumann has helped to lead an eclectic array of projects demonstrating her commitment to unexpected creativity in collaboration. Project highlights include designing and performing the music for Ballet Austin’s “Truth and Beauty: The Bach Project” which featured solo piano music by J.S. Bach and Philip Glass and was later aired on the lauded PBS-KLRU program, “IN CONTEXT.” In addition to performing the solo piano program, Schumann also led a baroque ensemble from the harpsichord for Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.2. In 2010, Schumann served as music director, conductor, and pianist for Michael Nyman’s chamber opera The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, in a collaboration with Austin Lyric Opera during the Austin Chamber Music Festival. In 2006 and 2008, Michelle’s pianism took to the dramatic stage in a staged production of Schubert’s Die Winterreise, directed by the Viennese Maverick producer Andreas Mitisek of the Long Beach Opera. Michelle has also been an enthusiastic proponent of the music of John Cage and has developed a cult-like following for her annual “Happy Birthday, Mr. Cage!” concert which she has been producing, performing, and directing since 2000. Highlights of the series includes a collaboration with film-collage artist Luke Savisky in an acclaimed rendering of Cage’s “Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano;” and a co-production with the Austin Zen Center of Cage’s most meditative music, set for an encore presentation at the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2011.
Since 2006, Michelle has served as Artistic Director of the Austin Chamber Music Center where she “is fearlessly expanding our definition of chamber music.” (Austin-American Statesman) Following her ground-breaking first season with the Austin Chamber Music Center, she won multiple awards from the Austin Critics Table including the coveted award for “ Body of Work/Season.” Praised for “her whip-smart sense of programming,” (Austin-American Statesman) Schumann’s specialty is developing unexpectedly integrated and thought-provoking programs. Her brand of performance includes an enthusiastic interplay with the audience where she shares surprising insights about the music, composers’ lifestyles, and the social context of music performed. Her trademark includes bringing diverse music together under a blanket of narrative cohesion-producing not simply concerts, but events. Michelle has enjoyed performing these concerts with some of the finest musicians gracing the world’s stages, including violinists Soovin Kim, Charles Wetherbee, and Brian Lewis; cellists Clancy Newman and Sara Sant’Ambrogio; and string quartets including the Jupiter, Cavani, Carpe Diem and Chiara String Quartet. Michelle’s other collaborations include the Meridian Arts Ensemble, American Repertory Ensemble, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Long Beach Opera.