Texas Rising Stars: Soloist Biographies

During the Texas Rising Stars concert on January 28 at 7:30 p.m., the Austin Civic Orchestra will accompany the three winners of the Butler School of Music’s String Concerto Competition. Read the artists’ bios below and join us for the performance!

Maggie King

Maggie King is a Santa Fe native, and a Masters student at the UT Butler School of Music. As a winner of the Jackie McGehee Young Artistsā€™ Competition, King has soloed with both the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Symphony. During her undergrad at Oberlin Conservatory, King was selected to perform in numerous masterclasses with esteemed artists such as: Jennifer Cho, Jesse McDonald, Tessa Lark, Milan Vitek, Jinjoo Cho as well as the Brentano, Szymanowski, Emerson, Apple Hill, Miro and Orford Quartets. King was chosen to perform in Carnegie Hall as part of a select orchestra, ā€œOberlin in New York,ā€ and received an Oberlin Fellowship to teach violin students in Panama. In Spring 2020, King completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin Conservatory studying under Grammy Award Winner, Sibbi Bernhardsson. Currently, King is finishing her Masters degree in Violin Performance at The Butler School of Music at Austin, under the direction of Sandy Yamamoto..

Benjamin Kronk

Benjamin Kronk is a sought-after violinist based in Austin. As soloist, he has most recently appeared with the National Repertory Orchestra performing Prokofievā€™s 2nd Violin Concerto under maestro Michael Stern. He has also appeared with the Toccoa Symphony, and the Caroga Lake Music Festival, and will appear later this year with the Central Texas Medical Orchestra. In 2022 Benjamin won the American Opera Society of Chicagoā€™s highest scholarship worth $7,000. He started the South Eastern Young Artists (SEYA), a chamber music festival in 2018 in Georgia, bringing artists across the United States to perform chamber music in venues and private homes. He is a member of the Iris Orchestra under Michael Stern and plays with the Chicago Philharmonic Society, Folksā€™ Operetta, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Oistrakh Symphony, among others. Notably he has performed with celebrated artists including Matthew Lipman, Anna Petrova, Janet Sung, Stephen Balderston, Rose Ambrust Griffin. Benjamin has attended many summer festivals including the Caroga Lake Music Festival, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestra Institute and Festival (NOI+F), Meadowmount. He currently pursues his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin with Professor Sandy Yamamoto. Previously he earned his Post-Masterā€™s Certificate at DePaul University with Janet Sung, his Masterā€™s of Music at Mcgill University with Alexander Read, and his Bachelorā€™s of Music from the Eastman School of Music with Juliana Athayde. He plays on the GRAMMY-nominated album ā€œAmerican Classicsā€ with NOI+F under maestro David Allan Miller. He has taken masterclasses with Midori and Pinchas Zuckerman.

Tony Sanfilippo

Tony Sanfilippo is currently a 2nd year student studying Double Bass performance at the University of Texas under Joel Braun. Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Tony moved to Houston, Texas when he was 5 years old and began studying bass at the age of 10. In 2020, Tony became the president of orchestras at Klein Cain high school, and continues to be an advocate for public school orchestral education.Ā 

An accomplished player, Tony has played with the TMEA All-State Philharmonic orchestra and the Butler School of Musicā€™s Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, he competed in the Butler School of Musicā€™s concerto competition and became a finalist. He is also a recipient of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Fine Arts Scholarship and the Butler School of Music scholarship.Ā 

Apart from music, Tony enjoys photography and skateboarding.Ā