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Duo Cantabile

Duo Cantabile

Featuring Simona Barbu, cello and Nariaki Sugiura, piano.

Duo Cantabile was formed in 2012 by cellist Simona Barbu and pianist Nariaki Sugiura, two musicians and university professors residing in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The duo traveled extensively and gave performances, clinics, lectures, and master classes at prestigious institutions around the world.

In September 2022, the duo will present Bruce Stark’s Suite for Cello and Piano (2021) at the 65th College Music Society National Conference in Long Beach, Calif.


  • Bruce Stark: Promise for Cello and Piano (2016)

  • Jonas Fisher: Four Seasons for Cello and Piano (2018)
     I. Summer
     II. Autumn
  • Christopher Gable: Playlist for Cello and Piano (2016) 

  • Bruce Stark: Suite for Cello and Piano (2021)
     I.   Prelude
     II.  Allegro Pizzicato
     III. Serenade
     IV.  Groove


  • Robert Schumann: Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73
  • Hisatada Odaka: Nocturne for Cello and Piano (1942)
  • Takashi Kurata: Danse d’une poupee japonaise (1937)
  • Gaspar Cassadó: Requiebros for Cello and Piano    

  • Astor Piazzolla: Oblivion (arranged by Duo Cantabile), Libertango (arranged by Duo Cantabile)

An astounding international cellist, Simona Barbu began her musical studies at age seven and gained public attention as a member of the leading string quartet of the Conservatory of Timisoara in her native Romania, where she made her solo debut in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the conservatory’s symphonic orchestra. Since then, she has traveled to Asia, South America, Europe, and the United States as a soloist, chamber musician, clinician, and orchestra musician. She has collaborated with world-class musicians such as Emilio Colón, Edward Auer, Emile Naoumoff, Lydia Artymiw and Milton Masciadri. Barbu has been an active orchestral musician, performing with Memphis Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, and serving as principal with the Eroica Ensemble in Memphis, Starkville Symphony Orchestra and Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra.

A dedicated teacher, Dr. Barbu has served as the string faculty at Mississippi State University for four years, where she taught strings and conducted the symphonic orchestra. In 2011, Dr. Barbu was appointed Professor of Cello and Burgum Endowed Chair at the University of North Dakota, where she currently teaches cello, string bass, chamber music, and conducts the University of North Dakota Honor String Orchestra. During summers, she is a cello faculty at various music festivals.

International concert artist Nariaki Sugiura has performed solo recitals and concerto engagements in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia at prestigious concert halls, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Shenzhen Symphony Hall (China), Kioi Hall (Japan), Ferenc Liszt Music Academy Recital Hall (Hungary), Daejeon Arts and Cultural Center Hall (South Korea), and Manoel Theater (Malta). He has appeared as a soloist with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, University of Antioquia Symphony Orchestra, Peking University Affiliated High School Concert Band, and many others. His arrangements for chamber ensembles and piano ensembles have been frequently performed.

A devoted teacher, Dr. Sugiura has become of the leading piano pedagogues of his generation. He has given piano master classes at the Academy of Music Gheorghe Dima (Romania), Leo Weiner Music Academy (Hungary), Shenyang Conservatory of Music (China), National Kaohsiung Normal University (Taiwan), Ewha Woman's University and Sunhwa Arts High School (South Korea), Universitas Pelita Harapan (Indonesia), St. Paul’s College (Hong Kong), and many other institutions around the world. Previously, he has taught at DePauw University, and Indiana University. While he was at Indiana University, he worked for a legendary cellist Janos Starker.

Saturday, September 24, 2022


Music Department

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2380 East Keats Avenue
Fresno, CA 93740


Free and open to the public