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CSU Students Make Beautiful Music at International Festivals

Percussion students participate in Aspen Music Festival and trombonist goes to Spoleto USA

Students from Cleveland State University’s Department of Music will participate in two of the nation’s most prestigious classical music festivals this summer. Percussion students Jaime Cárdenas España and Lisa Wagner will attend the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, CO. Only 12 percussion students were selected nationally. In addition, graduate bass trombone student Thanasit Pimnipapatrakul will perform as part of the Spoleto Festival USA held in Charleston, SC. The students will participate in classes, perform with multiple orchestras and learn from some of the top classical musicians in the world during the multi-week programs.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to further develop my skills as a percussionist while gaining amazing, real-world experience playing with some of the best musicians in the world,” says Cárdenas España.

“Spoleto is considered a top training ground for young musicians and I am looking forward to testing my skills with the best of the best,” Pimnipapatrakul adds.

Cárdenas España, who is going into his senior year, is originally from Chile and previously studied at the National Conservatory of Chile. Wagner, also going into her senior year, is from Sweden, studied at the Royal Conservatory of Stockholm and is also a member of the Swedish Army Band. Pimnipapatrakul is a master’s student and is originally from Thailand. He received his bachelor’s in music from the National University of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and was a member of the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra and Bangkok Opera from 2009 to 2012.

“CSU has a tremendous reputation as a top music school with amazing faculty,” notes Wagner. “This training has been invaluable in my growth as a musician and has prepared me well for participating in international venues such as Aspen.”

Strategically located in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant cultural centers, the Department of Music at CSU utilizes the city’s rich musical resources to provide students with a complete spectrum of educational opportunities. The University draws from the internationally renowned Cleveland Orchestra and other noted professional organizations, giving students the opportunity to study with some of the finest musicians in the world, including percussionist Tom Freer and trombonist Shachar Israel.

The Aspen Music Festival, which will be held June 20 – Aug. 21, was founded in 1949 and is considered one of the most prominent classical music festivals in the world, noted both for its high quality music programming and as a major training venue for young-adult musicians. The current director of the festival is noted conductor and pianist Robert Spano who is also music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Spoleto Festival USA, held May 27 – June 12, is one of America's most prominent performing arts festivals. It features both established and emerging artists in more than 150 performances of opera, classical music and jazz and was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti.