March 18, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
Elgar Cello Concerto, Op. 85, E Minor
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol, Op 34, Ravel Bolero
Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello
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,” saying “There was an irresistible warmth in everything Miss Sant’Ambrogio did.”
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), The Royal Philharmonic, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle; she has performed thousands of concerts on six continents at the world’s 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, Sara has 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. The Los Angeles Times said, “Joshua Bell and Sara Sant’Ambrogio played with lyrical restraint and lovely tone.” A track from Sara’s solo cd, “Dreaming,” was featured as the opening soundtrack of the HBO award winning documentary, “A Matter of Taste” and another was featured on the soundtrack for the documentary “Jones Beach Boys.” Most recently her recordings were featured in the documentary “Kiss The Water.” 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.
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 where she received her High School Diploma. 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 an US tour as soloist with Maestro Fabio Luisi and The Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the culmination of her Bach Project with the release of Volume II of Bach Solo Cello Suites, which Gramophone Magazine raved, “Technically formidable and intensely communicative, these performances grab you by the ears and refuse to let you go.” About Volume I Gramophone said, “She comes impressively close to the soul of Bach.” Her 2013 release, “The Chopin Collection,” was featured in Ann Midgette’s column in The Washington Post round up of “Notable Recordings of 2013.”
Miss Sant’Ambrogio performs on a Johannes Gagliano cello, Napoli, ca.1800.