The Quad City Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Ernesto Estigarribia as the new Youth Ensembles Music Director and QCSO Assistant Conductor. Mr. Estigarribia is currently the Music Director of the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) Sinfonia East Conductor. He has previously served as Music Director of the Buffalo Community Orchestra. A search committee of individuals from the QCSO Board and Staff conducted an extensive national search of industry professionals.
“I am delighted that Ernesto will be joining the Quad City Symphony Orchestra staff as QCSYE Music Director and QCSO Assistant Conductor,” said Education Committee Chair Annette Tephly. “He will bring energy and enthusiasm to his engagement with the student musicians. I look forward to him enhancing the musical excellence of the youth ensembles.”
Born and raised in Asunción, Paraguay, Mr. Estigarribia is currently a doctoral candidate in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Minnesota studying with QCSO conductor Mark Russell Smith and expects to receive his degree in May 2019. “Ernesto is passionate about music and its profound ability to enrich and shape young lives,” said Smith. “I know that the young musicians of the QCSYE will be inspired by his energy and enthusiasm for music and the arts. He will be a fantastic addition to the Quad City Symphony family and is poised to make a tremendous impact on the lives of many Quad Citizens. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Quad Cities.” During his studies, Estigarribia has co-directed the Campus Orchestras, served as Assistant Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and the University Opera Theater, and is a recipient of the James Sample Fellowship.
He has performed extensively in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe both as a violist and conductor. In 2016, Ernesto conducted the first recording of the “Concertino for Viola” by Brazilian composer Joao Ripper with violist Korey Konkol. In 2017, Ernesto was the first Paraguayan guest conductor to appear in the International series of Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional (Paraguay), and was invited to return to conduct in 2018. Other recent conducting appearances include performances with the Rochester (MN) Symphony Orchestra, Oskaloosa Music Festival Orchestra, Orquesta del Centro del Conocimiento (Argentina), as well as Gianni Schicchi, Idomeneo, and Albert Herring with the University of Minnesota Opera Theater.
Upon Estigarribia accepting the position, QCSO Executive Director Brian Baxter stated “I am thrilled to have Ernesto joining our team not only because of his great musicianship and technical skills but also because of his passion for working with youth and the vision he has for our youth ensembles program. Exciting things are ahead with him on our team!”
“I am eager to start my work in the Quad Cities,” Estigarribia said. “I’ve been familiar with the amazing music making of the Quad City Symphony for several years and am honored to serve as the next Assistant Conductor of such a fine orchestra. I am also very excited to work with the young musicians of the Youth Ensembles and to explore great pieces of music with them.”
Estigarribia will begin his role as Youth Ensembles Music Director and QCSO Assistant Conductor in March 2019 in a part-time capacity while he completes his studies and become full-time over the summer. Christopher Ramaekers will remain as Interim Youth Symphony Orchestra and Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor throughout the transition period.
The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE) program consists of five performance groups (four youth orchestras and a youth choir) for students in grades two through twelve. Under the direction of the outstanding QCSYE conducting staff, members have the opportunity to perform great orchestral and choral repertoire with the most talented young musicians in the area and learn from the mentorship of professional musicians from throughout the region. Ensemble members come from the greater Quad Cities, as well as other communities in southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.