Cactus Pear festival in Texas marks 20 years working with emerging musicians

Posted on: July 5, 2016

“Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, founder and artistic director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival, knows how tough it can be for young musicians to break into the field,” writes Deborah Martin in Thursday’s (6/30) San Antonio Express News (Texas). Sant’Ambrogio, who “teaches violin and viola at the University of Nevada, Reno” and formerly played in the San Antonio Symphony, started the San Antonio-based chamber music festival 20 years ago. “She tries to hire artists at various points in their careers for Cactus Pear. And the festival, which begins its new season on July 7, also has included teenage musicians through its 13-year-old Young Artist Program. To date, 79 teenagers have gone through the program, receiving coaching and private instruction and attending lectures and festival concerts. They also form an ensemble and perform during the festival themselves…. Each program includes a work that was played at a past festival as well as a piece by a living composer.” Featured composers this year include Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, and Michael Daugherty. Says Sant’Ambrogio, “Because I’m a professor at a university, I’m seeing the next generation of artists emerging and trying to have careers, and it’s not always easy to get the opportunities.”

Posted July 5, 2016