Born in Chicago, Filipino-American cellist Ezra Escobar maintains a prolific output as a multigenre cellist, composer, arranger, and music producer. He made his orchestral debut at age 16 with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago and was a guest soloist with the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra. Other concert engagements include the Young Steinway Concert Series, the Waukegan Chamber Music Society, the Greenwich Village Chamber Music Society, and the Chicago Botanic Garden Morning Music series.
Ezra regularly performs with the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, Lake Forest Symphony, and Skokie Valley Symphony orchestras. He has concertized at venues such as Symphony Center in Chicago, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia Festival’s Bennett Gordon Hall, and Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern University. Ezra is principal cello of the Mannes Orchestra and previously served as principal cello of the Kankakee Valley Symphony as well as the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony and Concert orchestras.
He has won prizes at the DePaul Concerto Festival, the Chinese Fine Arts Society Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Composition Contest, and was a finalist at the West Suburban Symphony Youth Solo Competition. As a chamber musician, he was a semifinalist in the Fischoff and St. Paul competitions, with appearances at the Rembrandt, Discover, and Barnett national chamber music competitions. Ezra’s compositions have been premiered at Bennett Gordon Hall at Ravinia Festival and the Heifetz Institute, with commissions for EDGE Youth Theatre and Thin Ice Ensemble Theater.
For several years, Ezra taught in the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Young Music Scholars program, which aids children and teens without the financial means to enroll in music lessons. Ezra is a founding member of the Greenwich Village Chamber Music Society (GVCMS), a student-run chamber music collective that aims to create meaningful social change through accessible and thoughtful programming.
Ezra is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the Mannes School of Music at The New School under the tutelage of Marcy Rosen, having previously studied with Dr. Tanya Carey at the Music Institute of Chicago. He has received lessons and master classes from Hans Jensen, Timothy Eddy, Colin Carr, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Amit Peled, Astrid Schween, Richard Hirschl, Ronald Thomas, Antonio Lysy, and Jeffrey Zeigler, and his chamber music mentors have included members of the Emerson, Borromeo, American, Kronos, Vermeer, Jupiter, Mendelssohn, and Pacifica quartets.