New for this year is San Antonio Symphony’s principal clarinetist and frequent Cactus Pear Music Festival guest, Ilya Shterenberg. He will be collaborating with San Antonio International Piano Competition gold medalist Scott Cuellar. Their program includes the athletic Weber Grand Duo Concertant and preludes by Lutoslawski, Scriabin, and Gershwin.
"He possesses that miraculous gift of an innate musical sense…
…music seemed to flow toward the infinite, as if divinely ordained."
(William Furtwangler-"Post and Courier" Charleston, SC)
Principal clarinetist of the San Antonio Symphony and Principal clarinetist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Ilya Shterenberg balances a busy career as an orchestral musician, chamber music performer, and a soloist. Hailed by the press as "natural and expert interpreter", "warm, elegant tone", "among the best in the business", he has been featured as soloist performing standard clarinet repertoire by Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Debussy, and Strauss, as well as rarely heard clarinet concertos by Krommer and Kurpinsky.
He has been featured as Principal clarinetist with Cincinnati and Seattle Symphonies, and has collaborated with such conductors as Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Dennis Russell Davies, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Barenboim, George Solti, Pierre Boulez and others.
Away from the orchestras, Ilya is very active as chamber musician, festival performer, and educator. He is a member of Olmos Ensemble, a chamber group made up of principal woodwind players from the San Antonio Symphony. His summer appearances have included the Colorado Music Festival and Britt Festival, as well as the Piccolo Spoleto Festival – USA. As an educator, he has been a faculty member of the College of Charleston, the University of Texas San Antonio, and UT Austin.
A native of Ukraine, Ilya began his music education at the Kosenko Music College, in Zhitomir, city of his birth. After his immigration to the United States in 1989, he received an Artist Certificate diploma from the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, after which he did further study at DePaul University in Chicago. His principal teachers have included Larry Combs, Stephen Girko, and Charles Neidich.
Mr. Shterenberg's performances have been heard on National Public Radio stations throughout the country as well as Chicago's WFMT nationwide classical music network. He performs frequently as a recitalist and chamber music artist with Cactus Pear Music Festival and the North Shore Chamber Music Festival.
Ilya is a Buffet Group USA performing artist.
In reviewing pianist Scott Cuellar's debut recital at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, David LaMarche of the New York Concert Review described Mr. Cuellar's performance as "virtuosic in scope and expression, like a great man of the theater," and praised his "ability to illuminate both the external structure and the emotional core of the work he plays." He has been described by Cleveland Classical as possessing "nerves of steel, a formidable technique, and an architect's understanding of structure." The San Antonio Express-News praised his "luxuriant exploration" of Liszt's First Piano Concerto, adding that his "technique was clean, his melodies and cadenzas were expressive, but most noticeable was his keyboard fluidity."
Mr. Cuellar won the gold medal at the 2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he also received prizes for the best performance of both a Romantic work (Schumann's Humoreske), as well as of a Russian work (Prokofiev's 4th Sonata). He 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. Additionally, he was the 3rd place winner of the 2016 New Orleans International Piano Competition, the winner of both the Rice and Oberlin concerto competitions, and was a semifinalist in both the 2017 Seoul International Piano Competition and the 2015 Honens Piano Competition.
He has given solo recitals at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Bösendorfersaal, the Newport Music Festival, the Polytheatre Chongqing and the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in the People's Republic of China, and has been a guest recitalist at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music, the University of Washington, and Grand Valley State University. He has performed in solo and collaborative settings at major venues including the Kennedy Center, the Sede Histórica of Peru's Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima, the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea, Minneapolis's Orchestra Hall, New York's Merkin Hall, Calgary's Jack Singer Concert Hall, and the Greene Space of WQXR New York. He has appeared as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Orchestra, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, and several others.
Mr. Cuellar has performed with many of the world's great artists, including Cho-Liang Lin, Jennifer Koh, Chee-Yun, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, Desmond Hoebig, Aloysia Friedmann, and many others. He has performed at the La Jolla Music Society's Summerfest, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and the Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival. He has been heard on WQXR in New York, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Houston Public Media, and WGTE Toledo.
Mr. Cuellar holds a Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Julian Martin, and holds a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Alvin Chow. During his time at Oberlin, he won three of the largest prizes offered to pianists: the Oberlin Concerto Competition, the Arthur Dann Competition, and the John Elvin Prize for Juniors. Mr. Cuellar is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studies with Jon Kimura Parker.
In addition to our patrons and audiences, Blanco Performing Arts' sponsors help make our excellent performances possible and bring these talented musicians to Blanco. Visit our sponsors and show them you support arts in the Hill Country.
The Uptown Blanco Ballroom is home to the Blanco Performing Arts concert series, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Blanco, Texas. Find directions and parking...
If you need a place to stay while you’re in our little burg, there are a number of options. We have hotels, numerous B&Bs, and beautiful riverside spots for those of you with RVs.
Blanco Performing Arts is incorporated as a non-profit entity, and is recognized as such under Section 501(3)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.