A native of Saratoga Springs, NY, Dr. Cassandra Sulbarán began her musical studies on piano and violin, later dedicating herself to viola as an undergraduate at Ithaca College. Cassandra graduated summa cum laude from Ithaca in 2005, earning a Bachelors in viola performance with Debra Moree, and continued her studies at the University of Maryland, completing her Masters in 2007 with Katherine Murdock, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Daniel Foster in 2011.
Prior to moving to the Boston area, Dr. Sulbarán was the associate professor of viola and chamber music at Ithaca College for the 2013-2014 academic year. Cassandra was the string specialist at the Beaver Country Day School for the 2015-2016 academic year, developing and implementing a new middle school orchestra program. Currently, she serves as viola and chamber music faculty at the South Shore Conservatory, in addition to teaching 4th-5th grade band and orchestra at Morrison Elementary in Braintree, MA, and orchestra and keyboarding at Braintree High.
After a transformative trip to Venezuela in 2008, Dr. Sulbarán became a visiting professor of strings with a núcleo in Acarigua, part of the now-famous El Sistema music education movement. She is active in the El Sistema community in Boston, and has worked with several programs in the area both teaching and consulting.
Cassandra has appeared in solo recitals in New York and Maryland, as well as with various orchestral and chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Venezuela. An ardent proponent of Latin American music, Cassandra was the violist with Cuarteto Rustico, with whom she worked to educate audiences about the vast array of unexplored Latin American chamber music works. Together with her husband Carlos Sulbarán, she is the violist for Duo Anhelante, a viola-Venezuelan cuatro duo that specializes in the traditional and folkloric music of Venezuela. Dr. Sulbarán’s dissertation, Music for the Viola from Latin America and Spain: Canción y Baile, highlights key works from these regions, and includes research, extensive program notes in English and Spanish, and recordings, many of which are available on Soundcloud.
Dr. Sulbarán performs on a 2013 Hiroshi Iizuka viola, and a Louis Morizot bow. Read more about Mr. Iizuka's unique instruments here.