Our Master Class Leaders

Every year, the Stulberg International String Competition welcomes renowned professional musicians to lead our Master Classes. These Master Class Clinicians all have years of experience performing in well-known groups, collaborating with other professionals, and teaching others through their love of music. When you take our Master Class, you will experience a music class of a lifetime, learning all the skills you can from the best. Learn more about this year’s Master Class clinicians by reading their bios below.

Mitchell Newman

Mitchell Newman is a regular participant on the LA Phil’s Chamber Music and Green Umbrella Series. He has had the opportunity to play the Mendelssohn Octet with Joshua Bell and the Thomas Ades Piano Quintet with the composer playing piano. Mr. Newman can be heard on Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music’s recording of the 1st and 3rd String Quartets of Carlos Chavez. He as also recorded the music of Eric Zeisl for Harmonia Mundi and Stories from My Life by Los Angeles composer Russell Steinberg. In recognition of his producing fundraising chamber music concerts for Mental Health America Long Beach he was named a Mental Health Hero by the California State Senate in 2010

Currently, Mr. Newman teaches privately and conducts the Los Angeles Children’s Chamber Orchestra in South Pasadena at the Pascale Music Institute. Each year he produces a concert for the Philharmonic featuring YOLA students and Philharmonic members playing together. He also is a volunteer for People Assisting the Homeless and Street Symphony and Street Symphony, scheduling small ensemble concerts at apartment buildings run by PATH.  He is thrilled to have found and encouraged musical talent in the PATH community and has performed music by it’s residents.  He also travels occasionally to work with young people at the Benning Academy, a program providing instruments and lessons to children of all backgrounds in Ensenada, Mexico.

Mr. Newman plays an Eric Benning violin made in 2016. He lives with his wife, Tricia and their crazy Border Collie, Reese.

Cynthia Phelps

Violist Cynthia Phelps’s versatile career includes appearances as chamber musician, soloist, and as principal violist of the New York Philharmonic. She has appeared as soloist on major stages across the globe with the NY Phil, performing an extensive repertoire including specially commissioned concertos by Sofia Gubaidulina and Julia Adolphe. Other solo appearances include the Minnesota Orchestra, Shanghai, Vermont, and San Diego symphonies, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

She has collaborated internationally with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, and Yefim Bronfman. A much sought-after chamber musician, she performs regularly with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and at New York’s Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y, as well as with ensembles including the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and the American and Brentano string quartets.

She is a frequent guest at the Marlboro, SummerFest La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Vail, Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Cremona, and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals and is a founding member of Les Amies, a flute-harp-viola trio. Ms. Phelps many honors include first prize in both the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the Washington National Competition, and she is a recipient of the Pro Musicis International Award. Her most recent recording, Air, was nominated for a Grammy Award, and her recordings of Harold in Italy and Unearth, Release, written for her, with the New York Philharmonic are available on iTunes.

Sara Sant’Ambrogio

Grammy Award-winning cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio first leapt to international attention when she was a winner at the International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition in Moscow, Russia. As a result of her medal, Carnegie Hall invited Ms. Sant’Ambrogio to perform a recital that was filmed by CBS News as part of a profile about her, which was televised nationally. The New York Times described Ms. Sant’Ambrogio’s New York recital debut as “sheer pleasure,” saying “There was an irresistible warmth in everything Miss Sant’Ambrogio did.”

Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Atlanta, Beijing Philharmonic, Boston, Budapest, Chicago, Dallas, Moscow State Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Osaka Century Orchestra (Japan), Royal Philharmonic, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle and Vienna Symphony; she has performed thousands of concerts on six continents at the world’s major music centers and festivals including Aspen, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Konzert Huset in Stockholm, Marlboro, Muiskverein in Vienna, Ravinia, Orchard and Suntory Halls in Tokyo and Great Mountain Festival in Korea. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio is particularly excited to have finally performed in all 50 United States last season when she performed at the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival in Alaska!!

Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has won numerous international competitions, including The Whitaker, The Dealey, Artists International, Palm Beach Awards and the Naumburg Award with her ensemble the Eroica Trio. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio won a Grammy Award for her performance of Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles and a NPR Best Debut Recording with Eroica for their Debut recording. She has been profiled in Strings, Glamour, Gramophone, Vogue, Strad, Elle, Bon Appetit, In Fashion, Travel and Leisure, Detour, Fanfare magazines as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on CBS, ABC, PBS, USA and CNN networks. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio is the subject of a feature length documentary, which has had hundreds of airings nationwide on PBS and international networks.