Sonia Mantell and Victor Asunción

March 10, 2021, 12:15 pm

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Sonia Mantell & Victor Asunción

Cellist Sonia Mantell and pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion perform works by Kevin Day, Claude Debussy, and Laura Netzel live from the Chicago Cultural Center.

Sonia Mantell, cellist from Orland Park, Illinois, studied at New England Conservatory and DePaul School of Music under the tutelage of Natasha Brofksy and Brant Taylor respectively.  She was appointed co-principal cellist of the NEC orchestras and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.  While attending DePaul, she won the Concerto Competition with violinist Ari Urban and performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the DePaul Symphony.  She has attended summer festivals at Aspen, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and Tanglewood Music Center.  Sonia has been an active performer in Chicago: She won a substitute position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has performed with both the CSO and their MusicNow series of contemporary music.  She has played with Music of the Baroque and the Rembrandt Chamber Series. Sonia also participated in the inaugural year of the 2017 Barnes Ensemble Festival in Philadelphia, PA.  In 2018, she won a position as a substitute for the Minnesota Orchestra. Most recently, Sonia played with Lyric Opera of Chicago for a one-year position in their 2018/19 season, won a cello section position with the orchestra in December of 2018 and then played her last season with them in 19/20.  She returned to Tanglewood for five summers, the last two being the cellist of the New Fromm Quartet program.  During her first summer there in 2015, she was awarded as the recipient of the Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award.  She has collaborated with the following musicians in chamber performances: Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Fleisher, members of the Jack Quartet, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Lyric Opera Orchestra.  Sonia currently lives in Minneapolis and started playing with the Minnesota Orchestra in the Fall of 2020.

Hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey, and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist.  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.

A chamber music enthusiast, he has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Lin, and many others. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, and the Garth Newel Summer Music Festival.  He was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons.  His recordings include the complete Sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, Sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, and the Rachmaninoff Sonata with the cellist Evan Drachman. He is also featured in the award-winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago.

He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2007 from the University of Maryland at College Park under the tutelage of Rita Sloan. Victor Asuncion is a Steinway artist.

Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.

*On-demand audio featured on this site may have been edited in order to comply with U.S. copyright regulations.

  • Intermezzo, L. 27, by Claude Debussy