2020 Board Nominees
Evangeline Benedetti ~ (current President)
A member of the New York Philharmonic from 1967 until 2011, Evangeline also teaches cello and the Alexander Technique privately. She is author of the book, Cello, Bow and You: Putting It All Together, Oxford University Press, 2017. She is on the faculty of iClassical Academy, an online series of masterclasses.
Alessandro Benetello ~ (current Board Member)
Born in Italy, Alessandro Benetello graduated from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, where he studied cello and composition, and continued his studies with Antonio Janigro at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He was a tenured member of La Scala and the R.A.I. orchestras in Milan and toured with chamber music groups throughout Italy.
In the U.S., Alessandro is a member of the NYC Ballet Orchestra and has performed with numerous chamber music groups and orchestras, including NYC Opera and Radio City Music Hall. He was a founding member of La Scuola d’Italia, where he was chairman of the music department for thirty years, and maintains a studio of private cello and piano students. His music publishing company, titled Organized Chaos Music Editions, offers an extensive choice of music for vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Kate Dillingham ~ (current Vice President)
Cellist KATE DILLINGHAM is a soloist, recording artist and an avid proponent of the music of living composers. Following her debut, which featured world premieres of works by Augusta Read Thomas and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, the press deemed her "an excellent cellist; dignified, intelligent, and compelling … an adventurous, dedicated champion of contemporary music … an extraordinary performer who displayed musical insight and emotional depth…". She has performed as a soloist with The St. Petersburg Philharmonic, The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, The Salzburg Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and The Brno Philharmonic (Czech Republic). She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, Symphony Space, and The DiMenna Center in New York City. Kate was a student of Bernard Greenhouse at Rutgers University and of Maria Tchaikovskaya at the Moscow Conservatory. A long association with Mr. Greenhouse led to collaboration on an edition of the Sonatas for Violoncello and Keyboard, BWV 1027-1029 by J.S. Bach, published by G. Schirmer Inc., which she presented in a combined concert and lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and recorded with renowned harpsichordist Jory Vinikour for Affetto Records. Kate has recorded albums of varied repertoire from Haydn to Higdon which are available at iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. As Executive Director of Random Access Music (RAM) and the Queens New Music Festival, (New York, USA) Kate is engaged in presenting, commissioning and performing music of the 21st Century. When Kate is not performing on her beautiful 235-year-old antique cello, she proudly plays one of two modern instruments (2011, 2015) by master maker, Zoran Stilin.
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Sean Grissom ~ (current Board Member)
As a dedicated member of the Society, and serving on the Board in various capacities/duties - I will continue to do whatever is needed to advance the aims of the VCS.
I am part of the 'Alternative Styles' movement, and have performed from the subways to concert halls worldwide. Last year, I performed in the first 'New Vistas' event, and led the 'Play-In'. Onward and Upward!
Hannah Holman ~ (current Board Member)
Hannah comes from a long line of cellists, playing on her grandmother’s Becker, so naturally she wants to cultivate a sense of community amongst all NYC cellists. This great city deserves a place for all cellists to feel welcome and be able to explore current happenings with this great instrument. Hannah’s dream is to have all cellists and cello lovers in the 5 boroughs and beyond feel a spirit of home and inspiration to bring to all they do, whether teaching, performing, listening, or supporting. Hannah feels grateful to have a position in the NYCB cello section!
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Robert Reed ~ (current 2nd Vice President)
Robert Reed is an accomplished cellist and educator with an active performing schedule that includes chamber recitals, and solo appearances with orchestras. Since 1998 he has been a frequent guest of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has toured Europe and Japan. He holds degrees in performance from New England Conservatory and from the University of Michigan where he received his doctorate. Dr. Reed counts among his teachers Lawrence Lesser, Stephen Kates, Colin Carr, Erling Blondal Bengtson, and distinguished pedagogue, Louis Potter, Jr. (author of the Art of Cello Playing). Dr. Reed’s extensive experience as a chamber musician has been shaped by coaching from such figures as Leon Fleischer, Eugene Lehner, Benjamin Zander, members of the Juilliard and Cleveland String Quartets, victor Rosenbaum, Russell Sherman, and Martin Katz. Reed was also a member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra for over 15 years, and he has appeared in performance with many notable celebrities such as the Three Tenors, Joshua Bell, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, John Denver, Rod Stewart, Yes, Deep Purple, Mary J. Blige, Earth Wind and Fire, and Andrea Bocelli, to name just a few.
Dr. Reed has held teaching positions at Eastern Michigan University, Hillsdale College, Albion College, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Interlochen Summer Music Camp. Dr. Reed is currently Associate Professor of Music at BMCC/City University of New York. He was a founding member of the Musica Trinitatis Concert Series at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Manhattan, former Treasurer for the Michigan Chapter of The American String Teachers Association, and has served on the executive council of the Violoncello Society.
Sara Sant'Ambrogio ~ (current Board Member)
Grammy Award winning cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio has performed thousands of concerts on 6 continents as a soloist and as a member of the Naumburg Award winning Eroica Trio. Born into a musical family, Sara started her cello studies with her Father, John Sant’Ambrogio- principal cellist of the St. Louis Symphony- before being accepted at 16 to The Curtis Institute of Music to study with David Soyer. Three years later she was invited to study with Leonard Rose, her father’s former teacher, at The Juilliard School. Sara has won numerous international competitions including the bronze medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, USSR. In 2019 Sara will give the world premiere of Michael Bacon's Cello Concerto with Alexander Mickelthwate and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and release the premiere recording of Bruce Wolosoff's Cello Concerto along with the Elgar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sara is excited at the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board of the VCS of NY as they all work to revitalize, reenergize and renew this important celebration of all things cello, the king of instruments! She is hoping to continue to serve on the New Vistas committee creating more opportunities for cellists to show the depth and breadth of the possibilities for the cello, cellists, and the music that entrances us.
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Patricia Santos ~ (current Secretary)
Patricia Santos is a singing cellist and songwriter who has worked with many great artists including Hurray for the Riff Raff, Martha Redbone, and Valerie Simpson. She is a teaching artist for Musicambia, a non-profit that brings music instruction to incarcerated communities, and she is on faculty at the Bennett Conservatory. She received her Music Performance Bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory with Regina Mushabac, and her graduate studies were with Bryan Dumm of the Cleveland Orchestra.
In addition to being a performing cellist and instructor, Patricia also brings 12 years of experience in arts education administration. She served as Secretary on the Board for the 2019-20 season. She wants to help the VCS grow as an invaluable resource and community for cellists of all ages and levels.
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Inbal Segev ~ (current Board Member)
Known for her “complete dedication and high intelligence” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev combines “rich tone, secure presence and complete technical mastery” (Jerusalem Post). She has appeared with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony, collaborating with such prominent conductors as Marin Alsop, Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta. Committed to reinvigorating the cello repertoire, she has commissioned new works from Timo Andres, Anna Clyne, Avner Dorman, Gity Razaz and Dan Visconti. A co-curator of chamber music at the Baltimore Symphony’s New Music Festival, she co-founded the Amerigo Trio with former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and violist Karen Dreyfus. Her discography includes acclaimed albums of Bach’s Cello Suites (Vox) and Romantic cello works (Avie), while her popular YouTube masterclass series, Musings with Inbal Segev, has thousands of subscribers around the world and more than a million views to date. Segev’s many honors include prizes at the Pablo Casals, Paulo and Washington International Competitions. A native of Israel, at 16 she was invited by Isaac Stern to continue her cello studies in the U.S., where she earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School. Her cello was made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1673.
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Jay Shulman ~ (current Board Member)
Jay Shulman was born to a musical family in New York. After early studies with Anthony Sophos, Lillian Rehberg Goodman and Harvey Shapiro, Jay attended Syracuse University, studying with Frederick Miller; and Colby College, where he studied with the Hungarian String Quartet. With violinist Frances Magnes, Jay was a co-founder of the Rochambeau Trio, and with pianist Fredrica Wyman, the River Duo.
He has recorded with the Bronx Arts Ensemble and is heard on the soundtrack of Sedat Pakay's PBS documentary "Josef and Anni Albers." Jay has produced CD reissues of the Stuyvesant String Quartet for Parnassus, Bridge and Artek Records, and of the music of his father, Alan Shulman (VCS President 1967-72) for Bridge and Hep Records.
Jay was 36-year member of the Long Island Philharmonic and teaches and performs throughout the Hudson Valley.
Jay currently serves on the board of the Violoncello Society, and has been a VCS member since 1959.
Mark Shuman ~ (current Board Member)
Mark has performed as chamber musician and soloist in concert halls throughout the world. For many years a member of the Composers String Quartet, he is also a founder of the period instrument group The Aulos Ensemble. He has worked with a broad spectrum of artists ranging from Elliott Carter and Raymond Leppard to Streisand and Lenny Kravitz. He has been involved in recordings running the gamut from Telemann Oboe sonatas and Carter String quartets to Michael Jackson, the Fugees, and jingles for Chocolate Lucky Charms. In his efforts to expand the cello repertoire, Mark seeks out contemporary and previously neglected works and has recorded the cello music of the Spanish composer and virtuoso Gaspar Cassadó. For ASV Quicksilva he has recorded the complete cello music of Mendelssohn with pianist Todd Crow. A native New Yorker, Mark is a graduate of the Juilliard School.
Jeffrey Solow ~ (current Board Member)
Jeffrey has toured throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he studied with the distinguished cellist Gabor Rejto and earned a degree in Philosophy magna cum laude from UCLA while studying with and then assisting Gregor Piatigorsky at USC. Two of his many recordings have received Grammy Award nominations. In addition to performing, Mr. Solow’s editions are published by Breitkopf, IMC, Peters, Latham, Ovation, and Henle Urtext and his articles and reviews can be found in The Strad, Strings, and American String Teacher magazines. Recognized as an authority on healthy and efficient cello playing, Jeffrey is professor of cello at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is past president of the American String Teachers Association and of the Violoncello Society, Inc. of NY.
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Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery” and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works and is admired as a potent collaborator and a unique improviser. Zeigler is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts (Grammy’s), the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society's Cultural Achievement Award.
Jeffrey Zeigler was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. Since moving on from the quartet in 2013 he has built a multifaceted career that has led to collaborations and tours with a wide array of artists from Yo-Yo Ma and Roomful of Teeth to Tanya Tagaq and Hauschka, and from Philip Glass and John Corigliano to Laurie Anderson and John Zorn. He has also performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Danish Radio Symphony and the Ulster Orchestra under the batons of JoAnn Falletta, Dennis Russell Davies, Peter Oundjian and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
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Meet the Nominees
for the 2020 Board of Directors:
The election for the 2020 Board of Directors will take place June 1st-2nd.
Elections results will be posted on June 3rd.
Voting will be open to all VCS members in good standing - if you need to renew your membership or
are interested in joining and voting in the election, please visit the VCS Membership Join/Renew page.
Nominees are listed in alphabetical order (by last name) below.
Click a name or continue scrolling for nominee bios ~