GTCYS Philharmonic Conductor Announced

We are pleased to announce that GTCYS conductor Dr. Ernesto Estigarribia will step into the Philharmonic conductor role next fall following Gary Wolfman’s retirement this spring. Since its inception in 2018, Dr. Estigarribia (or Ernesto as his students call him) has successfully led our Sinfonia East orchestra which he will continue to do next year as well.

Conducting two orchestras of vastly different levels requires a rare talent. Ernesto’s current role as Assistant Conductor and Youth Ensembles Music Director of the Quad City Symphony and other professional conducting positions have provided him with the experience and skills to lead high-level musicians.

“We are so glad that Ernesto has agreed to lead Philharmonic. He is at once an immensely talented musician and uniquely qualified educator,” said GTCYS artistic director Mark Russell Smith. “He has a proven record of inspiring young musicians of all ages, and I am very excited and grateful that he will now bring his experience and infectious love of music to both Philharmonic and Sinfonia East.”

Ernesto sets a high bar for artistic excellence and his ability to connect with students will inspire Philharmonic musicians to perform at a high level. He said, “Making music with the young musicians of GTCYS has been a very rewarding experience for me. I am very thrilled to be leading both Philharmonic and Sinfonia East next season. I look forward to more great music, more exciting projects, and more GTCYS fun!”

Hailed for his “expert direction” by the Fanfare magazine, Ernesto is from Paraguay and holds degrees from Pittsburg State University and the University of Minnesota where he studied conducting with Mark Russell Smith.

Ernesto has conducted the Mankato Symphony, Rochester (MN) Symphony, Oskaloosa Music Festival Orchestra, Orquesta del Centro del Conocimiento (Argentina), and Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional (Paraguay), where he was the first Paraguayan guest conductor to appear in the International series. In 2016, Ernesto conducted the premiere recording of the “Concertino for Viola” by Brazilian composer João Ripper with violist Korey Konkol and the University of Minnesota Camerata. In addition to symphonic performances, Ernesto has led numerous opera productions including Gianni SchicchiIdomeneoAlbert Herring, and Weisse Rose.

His festival appearances include Orchestra of the Americas, Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (England), Festival de Música de Santa Catarina (Brazil), Pienza Music Festival (Italy), International Festival Week of St. Petersburg Conservatory (Russia), and Academia Internacional Teatro del Lago (Chile). In his free time, he enjoys cooking vegan recipes with his wife, violinist Sabrina Tabby.

Students of all levels can audition for GTCYS’ 2021-22 season by June 6 to work with outstanding conductors like Ernesto. Learn more and register here.

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