Setnor School of Music
Assistant Professor, Applied Music and Performance (Piano)
213 Crouse College
In reviewing Cuellar’s debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, David LaMarche of the New York Concert Review described 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.”
Cuellar has given solo recitals at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, 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 Gijón International Piano Festival in Asturias, Spain, the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Lima, Peru, Boston Conservatory, and at the University of Washington. He has presented masterclasses at Renmin University in Beijing, Lee University, Grand Valley State University, and has lectured at the Juilliard School. 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.
Cuellar is featured on composer Gity Razaz’s debut album “The Strange Highway” (2022) with violinist Francesca DePasquale, released on BIS Records. He has performed with many of the world’s great artists, including Cho-Liang Lin, Jennifer Koh, Chee-Yun, Mark Nuccio, Desmond Hoebig, the Miró Quartet, and Timothy Jones. He is a founding member of the Rodin Trio, along with assistant concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Philip Marten and current Karajan Fellow Joshua Halpern. 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, Seattle’s King FM, Houston Public Media, and others.
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 gold medalist in the solo division of the 2013 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, where he was also awarded the silver medal 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 bronze medalist at the 2016 New Orleans International Piano Competition.
Cuellar holds a doctor of musical arts from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Jon Kimura Parker; he earned a master of music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Julian Martin; and he received 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. He was previously an assistant professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of music, where he taught chamber music, secondary piano, and class piano.
- D.M.A., Rice University
- M.M., The Juilliard School
- B.M., Oberlin College