Ezra Escobar, cello and Ryan Senger, piano

Program

  • Nicanor Abelardo (1893-1934) - Romanza for cello and piano (1927) (4')
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) - Sonata in G minor for cello and piano, Op. 19 (1901) (35')
  • I. Lento – Allegro moderato
  • II. Allegro scherzando
  • III. Andante
  • IV. Allegro mosso

Lauded as “vibrant” and “gifted” (Chicago Classical Review), Filipino-American cellist Ezra Escobar maintains a prolific output as a multigenre cellist, composer, and music producer. He made his solo debut at age 16 with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago and was a guest soloist with the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra. Other engagements include appearances with the Young Steinway Concert Series, Chicago Rush Hour Concerts, on Chicago’s WFMT radio station, collaborations with activist music collective Sound Off and a residency with noted jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC, and performances at venues including Symphony Center, Alice Tully Hall, Pritzker Pavilion, & Ravinia Festival’s Bennett Gordon Hall.

Ezra is a resident artist of the Fil-Am Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting exceptional Filipino classical musicians through scholarship assistance and performance opportunities. As a composer, his works have premiered at Symphony Center, the Evanston Chamber Music Society, and the Heifetz Institute. He is currently at work on his first solo record as a cellist, inspired by 2000s rave culture and dance music.

Ezra is currently pursuing his graduate degree at the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Hélène Dautry. He previously studied with Marcy Rosen at the Mannes School of Music and Tanya Carey at the Music Institute of Chicago. Additional studies include lessons and master classes with Johannes Moser, Hans Jensen, Timothy Eddy, Marc Coppey, Colin Carr, Matt Haimovitz, Amit Peled, Astrid Schween, & Eric Kim.

Ryan Senger is a Chicago based pianist who ardently promotes the expansion of today’s classical cannon. Maintaining an active performance schedule as a recitalist and collaborator, recent engagements have seen him perform at the Brevnov Monastery in the Prague Piano Festival; Utrechts Conservatorium in the Netherlands; on the Steinway Piano Series in Tampa, Florida; and as a chamber music collaborator with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

In 2022, Senger won the U.S. OSAKA International Music Competition for piano. Additional awards and honors have included receiving the Steinway Young Artist Prize, given at the 2019 Brancaleoni International Music Festival, as well receiving first prizes at the 2021 University of South Florida Piano Competition and the 2016 Kleinman Piano Competition.

Senger holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from DePaul University, where he studied with George Vatchnadze, and a Master’s Degree from the University of South Florida, where he studied with Svetozar Ivanov. Active as an educator and improviser, Senger serves on the faculty of the Musical Offering, in Evanston, as well as on the accompaniment staff of the Chicago Waldorf School. Past positions have included serving on the keyboard faculty of the State College of Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, and as an instructor at the University of South Florida.

Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Senger is a hobbyist woodworker and composer in his free time.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.

Upcoming Performances

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