A native of San Antonio, Texas, Sam Almaguer joined the North Carolina Symphony as Principal Clarinet in 2015. He has been featured as a soloist with the NCS on multiple occasions, performing works by Mozart, Copland, and Richard Strauss. He has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra.
As an active chamber musician, Almaguer has performed at Incontri Musicali in Spoleto, Italy, the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, and the Manning Series at Peace College in Raleigh. He is also an avid pursuer of contemporary music, having been featured as a guest artist with the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, Wild Up! in Los Angeles, New Music Raleigh at CAM, and various projects with the North Carolina Symphony. His performances have been broadcast on WGBH Boston, WUNC in the Research Triangle, and on local television in Los Angeles. At a young age he was featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top with pianist Christopher O’Riley.
Almaguer received his Bachelor’s degree from The Colburn School in Los Angeles and attended Rice University for graduate studies. He was a fellow at both the Tanglewood Music Center and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA. His primary teachers include Yehuda Gilad, Richie Hawley, and Ilya Shterenberg. He was named the 2013 Vandoren Emerging Artist. When not performing, he lives in Durham, NC with his partner and dog. He is enthusiastic about food—playing farmer and growing many of his own fruits and vegetables, hiking around the area to forage local mushrooms, and cooking delicious meals with friends.