International Cello Festival includes two concerts featuring esteemed guest artists

A cello with dramatic lighting, sideways, on a black background.

Among the premiere cello festivals in the United States, the “2022 Cello | Fresno” brings world-renowned cello faculty Emilio Colón, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; Cara Elise Colón, American Cello Institute; Thomas Landschoot, Arizona State University and Jonathan Ruck, University of Oklahoma, to instruct cellists of all ages and levels. The festival takes place Nov. 17-20 and features four days of master classes, cello ensemble, concerts and workshops for cellists around the Valley. 

The Cello festival includes two concerts for the community to enjoy:

The Gala Concert featuring the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra is at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Concert Hall. The program includes Beethoven, Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 and Stavinsky, Petrushka (1947 version). Emilio Colón will guest conduct, and Fresno State faculty Limor Toren-Immerman, violin; Thomas Loewenheim, cello and Peter Klimo, piano, will perform with the orchestra. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for employees and seniors and free for Fresno State Students.

The Cello Mania Concert features the Advanced Cello Ensemble, conducted by Emilio Colón and the Young Cello Ensemble, directed by Cara Colón, who will perform alongside Loewenheim and guest cellist Landschoot and Ruck with a special appearance by soprano Maria Briggs. The program includes Villa-Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5; Rossini, “Largo al Factotum” from The Barber of Seville and Villa-Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1. The performance begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for Fresno State students.

Fresno State Faculty Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, Dr. Limor Toren-Immerman, Dr. Peter Klimo and Dr. Maria Briggs.
Fresno State Faculty Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, Dr. Limor Toren-Immerman, Dr. Peter Klimo and Dr. Maria Briggs.

Parking is available in lot P1 and is relaxed on weekends.

The festival is free for participants and sponsored by Granville; Youth Orchestras of Fresno; American Cello Institute; Emilion and Cara Colón; Phi Kappa Phi; Fresno State Associated Students, Inc., Kenneth Warren and Son, LTD. and Gottschalk Music Center. 


Emilio Colón

Emilio Colón
Emilio Colon

The critically acclaimed cellist, Emilio Colón, has been described in prose as“ his playing is full of life and warmth” by the American Record Guide and has praised his performance as “lively, exciting, expressive and absolutely beautiful.” Fanfare Magazine wrote of the cellist, “Emilio Colón is obviously a virtuoso with taste.” Emilio was awarded the “2017 Artist of the Year” by the New York Classical Music Society. 

Performing throughout the world, Emilio has been invited as a soloist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Casals Festival, National Symphony of Ukraine, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, Antalya Symphony Orchestra,  International Symphony Orchestra of Lviv, Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Guayaquil Philharmonic Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Classical Orchestra of Guatemala, Bozeman Symphony and San Angelo Symphony; recitalist for Shanghai Oriental Arts Center in China, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, L’Hermitage Foundation and Bruman Summer Concerts in Los Angeles, Tons Voisin Festival in Albi, France, La Musica International Chamber Festival in Sarasota, Florida, Mill Valley Chamber Music Society, Round Top International Festival Institute, Miami Music Festival, Chamber Music Unbound in California and recital tours throughout Europe and Asia. 

At the age of 26, Emilio was appointed to the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and has since established himself as a highly sought-after pedagogue. He has been invited to offer courses at the Paris Conservatoire, Geneva Conservatoire, Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, Royal Academy of Music in London, Hochschüle für Musik in Stuttgart, Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, and Toho Gakuen in Tokyo, Japan. Recently he was invited to adjudicate at the prestigious Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in Budapest and the Stulberg International String Competition in Michigan. 

Emilio appeared performing on screen for the movie Un Poema a L’Exili “EL PESSEBRE” de Pablo Casals y Joan Alavedra which received the Best Picture Award at the 2014 REUS International Festival in Spain.  His recordings are featured on the Enharmonic, Centaur, Zephyr, Klavier and Lyras labels. 

As an international cultural advocate, he has been a guest artist at many national and foreign embassies, receiving the US Ambassador’s Cultural Diplomacy Award for his work in improving the relations between the US and foreign countries. 

As the founder and artistic director of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, Emilio has won three consecutive awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Flamboyan Foundation for providing free concerts and outreach events for underserved communities in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, US and Canada through educational televised programming. A recent review of the ICOPR in the American Record Guide stated, “Colón and the musicians’ sense of style was utterly secure and their playing flawless.”

As host and producer of the television series “Beethoven in the Caribbean” and “Music and Puerto Rico,” Emilio is an advocate of making classical music accessible and engaging in the digital world, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC and the CW in markets in the Caribbean, USA, Canada & Guam.

As composer and conductor, Emilio was commissioned to write a symphonic poem by the Garza Roja Foundation in Ecuador. “Poema: La Garza en el Daule” was premiered with Colón as guest conductor with the Guayaquil Philharmonic Orchestra in October of 2022. 

As a Larsen Artist, Emilio performs using Il Cannone® strings on his Amati cello made in Cremona in 1690 in combination with his Dominique Peccatte bow.

Cara Elise Colón

Cara Elise Colón plays her cello.
Cara Elise Colón

American cellist Cara Elise Colón enjoys a career as a performer, pedagogue, and arts administrator. She has been invited to perform in concert for L’Hermitage Concert Series, the Bruman Summer Chamber Music Festival in Los Angeles, the Mammoth Lakes Music Festival, the Lancaster International Piano Festival, the National Music Museum Concert Series in South Dakota, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, Ware Center Concert Series in Pennsylvania, Killington Music Festival, PSPA International Chamber Ensemble on tour in Malaysia, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series, and Fundación Musical Chamber Series in Puerto Rico. She has studied with many leading musicians, including Janos Starker, Anne Martindale-Williams and Sidney Harth and played in master classes for Mstislav Rostropovich and the Diaz Trio.  

As a pedagogue, Cara has held positions on the faculty of the Indiana University String Academy and the Indianapolis Academy of Music.  A Suzuki-trained teacher, she has been invited as a guest clinician for the London Suzuki Group, Killington Music Festival, Cello|Fresno Festival, University of Alaska Cello Festival, University of Oklahoma ‘Low Strings Attached’ Festival and for pedagogy courses and ASTA events at Indiana University.  

As an arts administrator, Cara is currently the Vice President of the American Cello Institute, whose project, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, has won numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Arts for their work providing free access to the arts. The ICOPR connects kids and communities with classical music through free concerts, educational events and television programming throughout Puerto Rico and abroad.


Tom Landschoot

Tom Landschoot holds his cello case on a tan background.
Tom Landschoot

Praised for his expressive, virtuoso and poetic music-making, Belgian cellist Tom Landschoot enjoys an international career as a concert and recording artist and pedagogue. He has toured North America, Europe, South America and Asia and has appeared on national radio and television worldwide.

His solo career started after taking a top prize at the International Cello Competition ‘Jeunesse Musicales’ in 1995 in Bucharest, Romania. He has performed with the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra, the Tempe Symphony,  Prima la Musica, the Symphony of the Southwest, the Shieh Chien Symphony Orchestra, the Scottsdale Philharmonic, the Flemish Symphony Orchestra, the Kaohsiung City Symphony, the Loja Symphony Orchestra in Ecuador and the Orchestra of the United States Army Band and has appeared at Barge Music, Park City, Santa Barbara, Mammoth Lakes, Eureka, Utah, Red Rock, Park City, Manchester, Fresno, Madeline Island, Waterloo, Killington and Texas Music Festivals. His recordings are available on Summit, Organic, Kokopelli, ArchiMusic and Centaur Records.

Since 2013, he is a member of the Rossetti Quartet. He has also performed with the Takacs, Dover and Arianna Quartets and members of the Cleveland, Vermeer, Tokyo, and Orion Quartets. Past collaborations include Lynn Harrell, Peter Wiley, Gilbert Kalich, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver and Martin Katz. An avid promoter of music of our time, he has commissioned and premiered more than 20 new works for cello, including a concerto by Dirk Brosse. Recent engagements included several concerts with the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders with a new concerto of Belgian composer Frank Nuyts.

Landschoot has been involved in interdisciplinary public service projects through his music, such as raising funds and awareness for the need of building an orphanage and hospital in Tamil Nadu, India. As part of this humanitarian project, Landschoot was featured in a documentary film of a cellist performing across India, integrating photography, culinary, journalism and original music compositions.

He has served as a faculty member at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Castleman Quartet Program in New York, Killington Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, Foulger International Music Festival, High Peaks, Madeline Island, Manchester, Montecito and Texas Music Festival. Landschoot has given master classes at conservatories and universities throughout Asia, the U.S. and Europe and South America.

His students can be found among the ranks of national and international competition winners, occupy principal positions in major orchestras and teach at Universities around the U.S. and abroad.

Landschoot is currently a professor of cello at Arizona State University, one of the top schools of music in the United States. Prior to joining the music faculty at Arizona State University, Landschoot taught at the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of ASU’s prestigious Herberger College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award. Landschoot has served on the faculty of the Shieh Chien University in Taipei since 2008. Landschoot is the founder and the artistic director of the Sonoran Chamber Music Festival, as well as the president of the Arizona Cello Society. He performs on a cello by Tomaso Balestrieri (1776) and a Dominique Pecatte bow.

Jonathan Ruck

Jonathan Ruck holds his cello in front of a grey background.
Jonathan Ruck

American cellist Jonathan Ruck enjoys an extensive and balanced career, performing as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Born in Wisconsin to a musical family, he has been heard in venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. Festival appearances include recent engagements at the Oregon Bach Festival, Sanibel Island Festival, OK Mozart, Unruly Music, and as principal cellist of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico. Jonathan currently serves as the principal cellist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

An avid chamber musician, Jonathan Ruck is a core member of Brightmusic, Oklahoma City’s resident chamber music ensemble. In addition to offering a regular season of chamber music performances, Brightmusic presents a yearly summer festival, the first and only multi-concert classical music festival in Oklahoma City. Jonathan Ruck has performed as a guest cellist with the American Chamber Players and the Penderecki String Quartet and alongside prominent artists such as David Shifrin, Rostislav and Luba Dubinsky, James Campbell and Daniel Blumenthal. He has given world-premiere performances of chamber works by Christopher Theofanidis and Sydney Corbett. As a founding member of the Dubinsky String Quartet, Jonathan was a prizewinner in the Fischoff and Coleman national chamber music competitions.

Jonathan Ruck earned three academic degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where his primary teachers were Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. He had the privilege of serving as the teaching assistant to both cellists between 2002-2005. Jonathan was a winner of the Indiana University cello concerto competition and was twice awarded the school’s coveted Kuttner String Quartet Fellowship.

Jonathan Ruck joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma School of Music in 2006. He previously held academic appointments at Depauw University and Hampden-Sydney College and has served as a guest faculty member at Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois. He has served on the faculties of the Fresno Summer Orchestra and Opera Academy (FOOSA), the Zodiac Festival in Southern France and the Indiana University Summer String Academy.

Jonathan Ruck performs on a cello built by Thomas Kennedy in London in 1820. He currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife, violinist Katrin Statmatis, and their two daughters, Arianna and Galia.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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