In reviewing pianist Scott Cuellar’s debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, David LaMarche of the New York Concert Review described Mr. Cuellar’s performance as “virtuosic in scope and expression, like a great man of the theater,” and praised his “ability to illuminate both the external structure and the emotional core of the work he plays.” He has been described by Cleveland Classical as possessing “nerves of steel, a formidable technique, and an architect’s understanding of structure.” The San Antonio Express-News praised his “luxuriant exploration” of Liszt’s First Piano Concerto, adding that his “technique was clean, his melodies and cadenzas were expressive, but most noticeable was his keyboard fluidity.”
Mr. Cuellar won the gold medal at the 2016 San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he also received prizes for the best performance of both a Romantic work (Schumann’s Humoreske), as well as of a Russian work (Prokofiev’s 4th Sonata). He was the 1st place winner in the solo division of the 2013 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, where he also took 2nd place in the concerto division, and was the winner of the Krenek Prize for the best performance of a sonata by Ernst Krenek. Additionally, he was the 3rd place winner of the 2016 New Orleans International Piano Competition, the winner of both the Rice and Oberlin concerto competitions, and was a semifinalist in the 2017 Seoul International Piano Competition, and the 2015 Honens Piano Competition.
He has given solo recitals at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Bösendorfersaal, the Newport Music Festival, the Polytheatre Chongqing and the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in the People’s Republic of China, and has been a guest recitalist at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, the University of Washington, and Grand Valley State University. He has performed in solo and collaborative settings at major venues including the Kennedy Center, the Sede Histórica of Peru’s Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima, the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea, Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall, New York’s Merkin Hall, Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall, and the Greene Space of WQXR New York. He has appeared as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Orchestra, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, and several others.
Mr. Cuellar has performed with many of the world’s great artists, including Cho-Liang Lin, Jennifer Koh, Chee-Yun, Desmond Hoebig, Anthony Ross, Aloysia Friedmann, and many others. He has performed at the La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and the Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival. He has been heard on WQXR in New York, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Houston Public Media, and WGTE Toledo.
Mr. Cuellar holds a Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Julian Martin, and holds a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Alvin Chow. During his time at Oberlin, he won three of the largest prizes offered to pianists: the Oberlin Concerto Competition, the Arthur Dann Competition, and the John Elvin Prize for Juniors. Mr. Cuellar is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studies with Jon Kimura Parker.