Appearing October 2

Young-Kwang Yoo, Baritone 
Praised by Opera News for “Vocal dexterity and outstanding Italian diction.”, “Mr. Yoo showcased a rich, reverberant baritone.”

Baritone Young-Kwang, native of South Korea, is a graduate of the College of Music, Seoul National University. He received his Master of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. Mr. Yoo also holds with Certificate from the Opera Institute at Boston University.

His awards include the 1st place winner in Osaka International Competition hosted in Japan, 2nd place in the Manhattan International Music Competition and the Grand Prize of Opera Division in the Metropolitan International Vocal Competition. He also has been awarded 1st prize in the 2020 SAS performing arts company vocal competition.

Previous credits include Rigoletto (Rigoletto) with Seoul National University, La Bohème (Marcello), Lakmé (Frederic) and Luisa Miller(Miller) with Manhattan School of Music, The Telephone(Ben) with Te Art Ro Production,  Emmeline(Mr. Maguire), Le Nozze di Figaro (Il Conte), The War Reporter (Paul Watson) and Pelléas et Mélisande (Pelléas) with Opera institute, La Tragedie de Carmen (Escamillo) with the City Lyric Opera in NYC and L’enfant prodigue (Siméon), L’elisir d’amore (Belcore) and La Bohème (Marcello) with Camerata New Jersey Foundation. He did Don Pasquale(Malatesta) and Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) with Martina Arroyo Foundation. He performed three operas with the Cleveland Opera Theater, Madama Butterfly( Sharpless), La Bohème (Marcello) and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro) which was hailed by the Cleveland Classical for “Baritone Young Kwang Yoo brought an ultimate suavity, and a special combination of tone and power to Figaro.”

​The New York Times wrote for his portrayal of Sharpless, “His solid baritone voice and stolid bearing suited Sharpless.” Opera News stated “He provided sturdy, empathetic presence.”

Also, the Operawire hailed his role, Escamillo, for “The stand-out performance of the evening came from baritone Young-Kwang Yoo.” and the ConcertoNet wrote “Escamillo could be the least attractive of the quartet, but Young-Kwang has such a magnificent voice that his toreador is terrific.”

Mr. Yoo portrayed Le Monstre Cathos in the U.S. premiere of Ibert’s Persée et Andromède directed by James Robinson and under the baton of Maestro Pierre Vallet at the Manhattan School of Music. The New York Times selected this Persée et Andromède as one of the ten best classical performances in New York in 2016.

Mr. Yoo’s oratorio work includes appearances at the Symphony hall in Boston as Adam in Haydn’s Creation. He also performed as a baritone soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Alice Tully hall in Lincoln Center in New York City and at the concert hall in Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Faure’s Requiem with the Goyang Civic Choir in Korea. He has sung Handel’s Messiah every year.

Young-Kwang has appeared on broadcasting in US and Korea. One of his online shows that brought hope and peace to the people who have had painful moments in the pandemic situation was introduced to the CNN News and Reuters. Also, the Voice of America paid attention to his life which has been moving to his dream as an international opera singer and took a documentary show in their Korean channel. In addition, he has been showed many of famous Korean TV shows on KBS, MBC, tvN, C channel and CTS channels. Mr. Yoo is  becoming a special opera singer especially among Koreans. He is not only singing but also sharing his life as an opera singer and a human being with doing performance and broadcasting.

This coming season, Young Kwang will work with the Opera Camerata New Jersey for Don Pasquale (Dr.Malatesta) and L’elisir d’amore (Belcore) presented by Marshall University. He will sing Faure’s requiem with the Suburban Symphony Orchestra. Also, he will make his Florida Grand Opera debut with Il Barbiere di Siviglia as the title role, Figaro.

Megan Santora, Soprano 
American soprano Megan Santora is a versatile and dynamic performing artist. This year, Ms. Santora covered the role of Nella in Gianni Schicchi as a member of the Manetti Shrem Opera Program with Festival Napa Valley (Napa Valley, California). She also returned to Opera Project Columbus (Columbus, OH) as Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief and covered the role of Norina in Don Pasquale with Opera MODO (Detroit, MI). The 2020 season began with the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Project Columbus. Recent engagements include Anna Gomez in The Consul with Opera MODO and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Project Columbus.

Ms. Santora graduated from The University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM) with an Artist Diploma in Opera in 2016. She also completed a Master of Music in Voice Performance at The University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM), a Master of Music in Opera Theatre at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At The University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM), Ms. Santora performed the roles of Vixen Sharp Ears in The Cunning Little Vixen, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, Princesse Laoula in L’etoile, and Thibault in Don Carlos. She was also the soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces and was featured in a Kurt Weill Cabaret. In 2013, Ms. Santora was the soprano young artist with Opera Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, NY) and Opera Columbus (Columbus, OH). She has participated in Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion (Cincinnati, OH): Champion, Meet John Doe, and Shalimar the Clown. Ms. Santora also performed the role of Serpina in La Serva Padrona with the Cincinnati Chamber Opera (Cincinnati, OH). Other opera performances include Cugina in Madama Butterfly, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Elisetta in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Diana in A Wedding, Lola in Gallantry, Lady Macbeth in Lady Macbeth by Pasatieri, and the narrator in Sweet Betsy from Pike.  

David Rothenberg, Pre-concert Lecturer
David J. Rothenberg is a member of the music history faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where he has taught since 2005 and been chair of the Department of Music since 2015. He received his PhD from Yale University.

Rothenberg’s research focuses on music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, exploring connections between music, liturgy, visual art, and literature. His publications include The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music (Oxford University Press, 2011); Music and Culture in the Middle Ages and Beyond: Liturgy, Sources, Symbolism, co-edited with Benjamin Brand (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and the Oxford Anthology of Western Music, Volume 1: From the Earliest Notations to the Early Eighteenth Century, co-edited with Robert R. Holzer (Oxford University Press, 2013, 2nd ed. 2019). He served as a senior editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford University Press, 2015), for which he wrote several entries including “Requiem.”

In 2007 Rothenberg was the recipient of the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society. He has received research grants and fellowships from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. In addition to his academic work, he is a regular pre-concert lecturer for The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, and other musical organizations, among which he is now happy to count the Suburban Symphony Orchestra.

He lives near Shaker Square with his wife Elizabeth, a cellist in SSO, and daughter Beatrice.

Don Verkuijlen –  Director of Music, First Baptist Church  

Appearing November 20

The Brazilian conductor, Jorge Sarmientos has performed with orchestras in Brazil and in the United States, being praised by his musicianship and precision.

Sarmientos worked with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and in Brazil, with orchestras such as the Santo Andre Symphony Orchestra, FIAM-FAAM Academic Orchestra, and the Sao Paulo State Academic Orchestra, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sarmientos worked as an Assistant Conductor with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, working with renowned conductors: Carlos Kalmar, Vinay Parameswaran, JoAnn Falletta and Marcelo Lehninger. He also served as a cover conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, working with Maestra JoAnn Falletta.

As a pianist, Sarmientos performed several recitals in concert halls in Sao Paulo. As a collaborative pianist, he participated in the production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote” at the “Fabrica de Óperas” Festival of the Sao Paulo State University-UNESP, under the direction of Maestro Abel Rocha. In December of 2017, he worked as a pianist in the world premiere of the Ópera “Tres Sombreros de Copas” written by the Spanish composer Ricardo Llorca, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has also performed with soloists in recitals, auditions and recordings.

Jorge Sarmientos has a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music-CIM, where he studied under the guidance of Carl Topilow, Emily Freeman Brown, Vinay Parameswaran and Carlos Kalmar.

He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Sao Paulo State University-UNESP, studying under the guidance of Abel Rocha and Lutero Rodrigues. In October of 2017, Sarmientos won the first prize of the Eleazar de Carvalho Young Soloists and Conductors Competition. 

Sarmientos attended several conducting masterclasses and festivals with important names of the classical music scene like Louis Langrée, Mélisse Brunet, Andrew Grams, James Ross, Timothy Muffit, Carlos Kalmar and Kenneth Kiesler.

The Leo Esral Guest Conductor is sponsored by his daughter Dinah Jacobs Castle

It is a privilege to sponsor Maestro Sarmientos’s performance with the Suburban Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in memory of my father. My Dad was a Curtis Conservatory trained oboist although he earned his living at the US Post Office. I clearly remember when he worked to startup the SSO. My Dad loved conducting, could play virtually every instrument with some degree of expertise, and made music literally every day of his life. During his retirement he formed many chamber music groups and quartets in Tucson Arizona and later in West Palm Beach Florida.

As a child whose life already revolved around music, it was very exciting to hear about the beginning of the SSO. I could read music before I could read words; I began piano at age 3, and oboe at age 10 so I could play in my school’s orchestra. Today, decades later, I still love playing classical piano and practice as often as possible, ideally daily. 

I now work as a Musical Entrepreneur, specializing in advancing women in Classical Music and encouraging future generations of music lovers and listeners. I  am the Lead Sponsor of the 2022 Inaugural Breaking Barriers Festival at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. This year’s Festival’s theme is Women on the Podium/Leadership. (

If you are interested in learning more about my work – and how you might participate – please email me at Again, thank you very much to the SSO for allowing me to honor my Dad.

Appearing January 29

Marina Ziegler, violin
Marina Ziegler began piano study at the age of four with her mother Mayumi Kikuchi. Subsequently, at five, she started her violin education at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Marina’s violin teachers have included Stephen Sims, Isabel Trautwein, and Eugenia Poustyreva. She currently studies violin with David Bowlin at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and sonata-coaching with Carolyn Warner of The Cleveland Orchestra. She is also a current member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Marina has been awarded several prizes including the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs awards, the Sigma Alpha Iota String Competition, and state awards for both piano and string divisions of the Ohio Buckeye Competition. She won the Suburban Symphony Concerto competition in 2020 and 2021 and appeared as a soloist with the orchestra in 2021. In past summers, Marina has attended Credo Music Festival at Oberlin Conservatory, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival. This past summer, she was invited to participate in Chamber Music Northwest’s inaugural Young Artist Institute in Portland, Oregon. She was also accepted into the National Youth Orchestra and performed at Carnegie Hall as well as major concert halls in Europe with the orchestra. When she is not practicing the violin, Marina enjoys going on drives and hikes.  She attends Copley High School where she is a senior.


Appearing March 19

Gerardo Teissonnière, piano
Regarded by international critics and audiences as an artist of extraordinary musicianship and rare sensibility since his acclaimed solo recital debut at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, pianist Gerardo Teissonnière brings to the concert stage an exciting amalgam of the diverse and important musical traditions he represents. From the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Lincoln Center in New York to concert halls in Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, Mr. Teissonnière appears in recital, with orchestra and chamber music performances in concert series as well as in radio and television broadcasts throughout the world.

Concert season highlights include his solo recital debuts in Munich and Vienna, as well as solo and chamber music performances in Italy, in the United States with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, a performance for an audience of twenty
thousand and a solo recital at the Diaoyucheng International Music Festival in Chongqing, China, his solo recital and concerto debuts in Beijing, and all-Chopin concerts in Poland.

Upcoming season highlights include return engagements in Austria (Barocksaal in Vienna), and his solo recital debut in Paris featuring music by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy in October of 2022. Mr. Teissonnière’s recording of the monumental last three Beethoven sonatas for the Steinway & Sons record label is released March 4, 2022.