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Cactus Pear Music Festival

This year, several changes are in store for Cactus Pear Music Festival. As part of its search for a new Artistic Director to replace Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, whose last season with Cactus Pear will be in 2021, the two finalists — both former winners of the San Antonio International Piano Competition (now the Gurwitz Piano Competition) — will each serve as a guest festival artist as well as guest artistic director for week two of the festival in this and next year. This summer, 2016 SAIPC Gold Medalist Scott Cuellar takes the helm, and will perform for all four main festival concerts: “Into the Twilight” (July 12), “Baying at the Moon” (July 13), “Goethe Have Music” (July 19) and “Romancing the Notes” (July 20). Cactus Pear is also introducing two free Casual Classix concerts, opening the festival with “Bulgarian Bad Boyz, Brahms and Beer” (6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, Bar 414, 205 E. Houston) and a caffeinated matinee before the final festival concert that they’re calling “French Roast: Debussy, Ravel and Duparc” (3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, Summer Moon Coffee Bar, 3233 N. St. Mary’s St.). In addition to Cuellar and current director Sant’Ambrogio, artists on deck include members of the San Antonio Symphony such as Jeff Garza, French horn, and Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet, as well as visiting artists Carol Cook, viola; Lachezar Kostov, cello; Viktor Valkov, piano; Timothy Jones, baritone; Ellen DePasquale, violin; and more.

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