Kenneth Freudigman is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Camerata San Antonio. Ken was Principal Cello of the San Antonio Symphony from 2004 to 2022 and continues in the role with the new San Antonio Philharmonic. A highly-respected cello pedagogue, Ken also serves as Conductor of YOSA’s Symphony and Concertino Orchestras.
Mr. Freudigman began playing the violin at age six and found his true love, the cello, at the age of nine. After six years of study, he was accepted to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts. Upon graduating with honors in music performance, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. He began his orchestral and chamber music career while at Eastman, winning a position with the Rochester Philharmonic and was also a founding member of the Esterhazy Chamber Ensemble. In 1992, Mr. Freudigman joined the New World Symphony, an advanced training orchestra for recent graduates of music schools, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Atlanta, Utah, Grand Rapids, Charleston, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sarasota Opera and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Freudigman was also a founding member of the American Sinfonietta.
His orchestra and chamber music engagements have taken him to the major concert halls of Europe, the Middle East, and throughout South and North America. Mr. Freudigman has performed chamber music with members of the Amadeus and Cleveland Quartets and with the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. He has been a featured soloist with the World Youth and New World Symphony Orchestras, the San Antonio Symphony and the Mexico City Philharmonic, where he was engaged to perform Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto. Mr. Freudigman can be heard in recordings on the Argo and Summit record labels, featured with Renee Fleming and the New World Symphony Orchestra performing Bachianas Brasileiras by Heitor Villa-Lobos on BMG Classics, and on Camerata San Antonio’s Grammy-nominated premiere CD, Salon Buenos Aires: Music of Miguel Del Aguila.
Emily Watkins Freudigman
Emily Freudigman is Co-Founder of Camerata San Antonio. Emily holds degrees in viola performance from Southern Methodist University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Michigan and has been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and School. She has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Muir, Concord and Tokyo String Quartets, and she has performed with the Grand Rapids, Maryland, Fort Worth and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Emily was the Assistant Principal Viola of the San Antonio Symphony from 2002 to 2019. She maintains an active viola studio in San Antonio – her students perform in the Texas All-State orchestras, attend prestigious summer music camps, including the Eastern and Killington Music Festivals and Interlochen Center for the Arts and have gone on to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Hailed by the New York Times as “a voice with considerable warmth,” lyric-soprano Sarah Davis has been recognized as a gifted performer both on the recital and operatic stage. She has premiered works by American composers: John Harbison, Barbara White, Eliza Brown, Eric Nathan, and Elliott Carter at Tanglewood Music Center, SongFest, Radio France, and Network for New Music. In the month prior to the pandemic taking hold, Ms. Davis performed a glorious Liederabend at Schwartzsche Villa in Berlin, Germany, singing Canteloube, Rachmaninov, Sibelius and Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder with pianist Chris Cartner. Notable concert & operatic roles credits include: Verdi Requiem, Mahler Symphony No. 2, Brahms Requiem, Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Mimi in La Boheme, Antonia, Fiordiligi, Pamina, Cendrillon, Susannah (Floyd), Anne Trulove, as well as Krystyna Zyvulska from Heggie’s Another Sunrise. Sarah holds degrees from Trinity University and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. She currently resides in Comfort, Texas.
Sarah appears on Las Musas this season.
Kristin Roach is a Grammy-nominated pianist and opera conductor with 37 new operas and 24 world premieres under her baton.
She is committed to the ongoing evolution of opera in the 21st century by leading newly composed works, championing underrepresented artists and creators, and training the next generation of performers.
Upcoming conducting engagements include the world premiere of Alice: An Operatic Wonderland by Amy Scurria at Red River Lyric Opera. Recently conducting engagements include Thumbprint for Chautauqua Opera Company, Two Remain for Lyric Opera Orange County, and Tosca for Texas Concert Opera Collective. Ms. Roach serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Lawrence University, where she is opera conductor and vocal coach. Previous positions include Founding Music Director of Alamo City Opera, where she conducted seventeen productions including many South Texas premieres, and Music Director of Spotlight on Opera.
Ms. Roach has prepared productions for the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Utah Opera, Opera San Antonio and many others.
Kristin appears on Las Musas this season.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Laura Scalzo’s love of the violin was sparked by the great violinist, Itzhak Perlman, when she heard him play on “Sesame Street.” She began lessons at the age of 4 and has been playing ever since. She holds degrees from Temple University (BA) and the University of Delaware (MM). Her primary teachers have included William dePasquale, Xiang Gao, and Ellen dePasquale.
Ms. Scalzo joined the first violin section of the San Antonio Symphony in 2011. Ms. Scalzo is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Before moving to San Antonio, she was a tenured member of the Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.
As a passionate chamber music lover, Ms. Scalzo has performed with various ensembles in San Antonio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. She is currently a member of the Mid-Texas Chamber Players.
In addition to performing, Ms. Scalzo is an enthusiastic teacher and has maintained a private studio of all levels since 2000. At the University of Delaware, she was Xiang Gao’s teaching assistant and taught the undergraduate non-music majors. She was a professor of violin at Texas Lutheran University from 2013-2015.
Ms. Scalzo has many interests outside of music. In 2020 she launched a blog, www.rootsinthecitytx.com, where she shares her adventures in vegetable and native plant gardening. She is an avid animal lover and amateur chef. She can often be found at home in the kitchen cooking for family and friends, or when not working, attempting to entertain the cats.
Winner of the 2012 New Orleans International Piano Competition, Viktor Valkov has been hailed as a “lion of the keyboard” and “sensational” (Wiesbadener Kurier). A winner of Astral’s 2015 National Auditions, he recently gave a critically acclaimed recital in London’s Wigmore Hall, and appeared as soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Valkov has appeared frequently as a recitalist in the U.S., China, Japan, England, Norway, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. A Japanese tour took him to Tokyo, Toyama, Yokohama, and Okinawa. He has performed with most of the major orchestras in his native Bulgaria, and at most of the country’s important music festivals. He debuted with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed Dimitar Nenov’s Grande Piano Concerto with New Symphony Orchestra under Rossen Milanov, becoming the fifth pianist to perform the concerto, and the only one to do so in its entirety. Mr. Valkov has made a number of recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio archive and has recorded for Bulgarian National Television and Macedonian Radio and Television.
Mr. Valkov’s concerts reflect a vast interest in chamber music as well as lesser-known piano repertoire. He frequently performs with Bulgarian cellist Lachezar Kostov. Both deeply interested in broadening the repertoire for cello/piano duo, they often include such composers as Kabalevsky, Roslavetz, Schnittke, and Saint-Saëns in their programs. In 2009, the Kostov-Valkov Duo gave its Carnegie Hall debut in Zankel Hall, and in 2011 won the Liszt-Garisson International Competition, where they were also awarded the Liszt Prize and special prizes in the collaborative artists category. In 2008, they recorded the entire opus for cello and piano by Nikolay Roslavets, released by Naxos in 2011. Their second CD, Transcriptions and Paraphrases, was released in 2015 and featured their own arrangements of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos. 1 and 2, and the Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine.
As a soloist, some of Mr. Valkov’s recent projects include Beethoven’s Hammerklavier sonata and Busoni’s Fantasia Contrappuntistica. He has presented a program highlighting composers of the 1600’s, including Froberger, Couperin, Frescobaldi, and Buxtehude, and selections from The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. His first solo CD was a Naxos release of the complete piano music of Dimitar Nenov. Viktor Valkov is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Utah.
Matthew Zerweck (matthewzerweck.com) began his music studies at age 5, after watching Itzhak Perlman perform on the children’s television show, “Sesame Street.” After studying with several esteemed artist teachers, he entered the Eastman School of Music. He earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM, MM), where he served as teaching assistant to the world renowned violinist and teacher, Charles Castleman.
Formerly the Assistant Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony (2008-2012), Matthew teaches violin full time in San Antonio. His students have played as soloists with the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Sinfonietta, and Starlight Symphony Orchestra. His students occasionally pursue music degrees at competitive colleges and conservatories.
An active performer, Matthew leads the San Antonio Sinfonietta as concertmaster. He’s also performed major concertos with the UIW Orchestra and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. In 2015, he recorded the lead violin parts for “Upon the Awful Tree,” an independent film with an original score by Matt Dunne. In his free time, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, his son, Charlie, and five cats.