Born and raised in the Philippines, pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion is recognized as a pianist of innate musical sensitivity and superb technique. As a recitalist and concerto soloist, he has appeared in major concert halls in Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the Philippines. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Enrique Batiz, Zev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, and Bobby McFerrin.
A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, James Dunham, Ronald Leonard, Susanne Mentzer, and the Vega and Emerson String quartets at venues that include the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery, 92nd Street Y, Benaroya, Merkin, Spivey and Shriver Concert Halls, and the Santa Fe, Aspen and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival. He was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons.
In addition to his active performing career, Mr. Asuncion is sought after as a piano, vocal, and chamber music coach. He was appointed assistant professor at the University of Memphis in 2003 and coordinator of Piano and Collaborative Arts Studies in 2004. He has given master classes at Minnesota State University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Memphis and the Washington Conservatory. The 2006-2007 season features solo and chamber music performances at Stetson, Vanderbilt, Ouachita Baptist, Henderson and Christian Brothers Universities; The Virginia Military Institute, Randolph-Macon Women’s College and University of Mississippi at Oxford; Cerritos Performing Arts Center, Shriver Hall, and the Memphis Chamber Music Society. Festival appearances for the summer of 2007 include performances at the Madison and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals. He will also be on the faculty of the Vocal Arts Seminar at the University of Memphis’ Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.
Mr. Asuncion’s major teachers include Rita Sloan at the University of Maryland at College Park, Roberta Rust at the Harid Conservatory, David Buechner at Manhattan School, Gary Steigerwalt and Luiz de Moura-Castro at the Hartt School, Avelina Manalo at the University of the Philippines and Rosario Picazo at the Philippine High School for the Arts. Additional studies include master classes and private lessons with Wu Han, Byron Janis, Santiago Rodriguez, Warren Jones, Andre Michel Schub, Paul Sperry, Irma Vallecillo, Christoph Eschenbach, Felix Galimir, Orlando Cole, Dorothy Delay, Donald Weilerstein, William Preucil and Leon Fleisher.
Reviews for Victor Santiago Asuncion’s Performances:
“Mr. Asuncion is an extremely gifted pianist who plays with great sensitivity and possesses a wonderful technique. He plays with much conviction, emotion and passion.”
- New York Concert Review
“ Lynn Harrell’s recital, presented to a packed house by the Shriver Hall Concert Series, had an electric charge. Adding to the voltage was pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion, whose elegant articulation and remarkably sensitive phrasing complemented the cellist’s every step of the way.”
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
“…elegant, liquid playing..”
- Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times
“…extremely powerful playing..”
- The Aspen Times
“…impressive approach to a virtuoso repertoire…”
- Wayne Lee Gay, Star Telegram/Fort Worth
“…assertive, refreshing approach. It is clear he has something special…”
- Tim Smith, Sun Sentinel
“…Asuncion reeled out the vibrant finale, bringing the audience to its feet.”
- Christopher Blank, Commercial Appeal
Tobias Werner, Cello, has performed at Garth Newel Music Center since 1999 and is a member of the Contemporary Music Forum, ensemble-in-residence at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. He has performed at the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival, Villa Musica Mainz, the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, the Vail Valley Bravo! Colorado Music Festival, the Maui Classical Music Festival, in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Strathmore Hall, the Phillips Collection, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and at Bargemusic. Tobias has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, France, Germany, and Romania, and recent performances have included the concertos of Dvorák, Elgar, Haydn, and Boccherini. He has recorded on the ECM, Darbringhaus & Grimm, Bayer Records, and Orfeo labels. Recent CD releases include Piano Quartets by Mozart, Brahms, Dvorák, and Martinu with the Garth Newel Piano Quartet, the Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach, and the Sonatas for Piano and Cello by Beethoven with Victor Asuncion. Tobias studied at the Musikhochschule Freiburg in Germany, and at Boston University. His teachers have included Andrés Díaz, Christoph Henkel, and Xavier Gagnepain. He plays on an 1844 J.F. Pressenda cello.