Grammy-winning cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio and faculty member Min Kwon pair up in joint recital Feb. 29

Grammy-winning cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio is set to perform with acclaimed Steinway Artist Min Kwon, pianist and head of the Rutgers keyboard program. The joint recital will take place 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 29, 2016, at Nicholas Music Center and will feature works by Frédéric Chopin, Astor Piazzolla, Robert Schumann, and Gaspar Cassado.

Kwon says she believes her students benefit from studying with a teacher who is an active, working artist.

“I want to be a teacher who does what she says,” says Kwon, who will make her Paris recital debut this year. In addition, Kwon is set to appear as soloist at the April 16 Alice Tully Hall Gloria! concert in New York City to mark the 250th anniversary of  Rutgers University. In August she will appear as a soloist on the final weekend of North Carolina’s Brevard Music Festival. “Performing is an essential part of being an artist, to our experience and our existence. I want to keep learning, developing, and growing.”

Kwon admits that initially she was doubtful about performing arrangements of Chopin solo piano music with a cellist.

“For most pianists, playing Chopin is almost like breathing. Chopin is deeply rooted in any pianist’s repertoire,” Kwon says. Because Chopin wrote almost exclusively for the piano, she adds, imagining the work in the hands of a cellist wasn’t easy--until she heard Sant’Ambrogio, a member of the acclaimed Eroica Trio who has performed with everyone from Sting to Rudolph Serkin. Sant’Ambrogio’s latest recording with pianist Robert Koenig, The Chopin Collection, was included in The Washington Post list of Notable Recordings of 2013.

For her part, Sant’Ambrogio says she relishes playing Chopin because his work embraces a wide swath of experience--vulnerability, grand passion.

“I feel the voices of the cello and piano together embody those emotions perfectly,” says Sant’Ambrogio, who will play arrangements of an etude and several waltzes. She and Kwon will play both together and separately.

“The sound of the cello has a uniquely human character, given that all the notes on the instrument are in the human voice range,” Sant’Ambrogio adds. “That allows the cello almost to ‘speak’ to the audiences--and makes it perfect for Chopin’s human frailty.” 

Ultimately, Kwon says, she hopes music lovers will leave feeling pampered.   

“The program is not meant to intimidate, not to impress,” she says, “but to thoroughly indulge our audiences.”



Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $5 for students with valid ID. Nicholas Music Center is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

Click here for the recital program.
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