Music Director and Conductor
Conductor, pianist, and singer Sam Hollister (SM ’18) is majoring in music and math. He is a member of the Glee Club, serving this year as assistant conductor of the group, and continuously music directs and conducts theater productions on campus, including the DRAMAT Fall Mainstage productions of 2015 and 2016. He discovered his passion for theater as early as his freshman year of high school, and has gone on to be the rehearsal pianist and orchestra pit pianist for nearly twenty productions. At Yale, he has begun to conduct and music direct theater shows as well, taking the baton for five productions. In his sophomore year of college, he also conducted the Yale Undergraduate Choral Society.
Sam has accompanied musicians since the age of 9, working with everything from choirs to soloists to orchestras to theater programs. Native to Rhode Island, Sam has given performances across New England as pianist and conductor, and has made debuts elsewhere, such as a concerto performance in Montreal and a two piano performance of Holst’s The Planets alongside Christina Gasparich in Michigan. He studied under Dr. Manabu Takasawa at the University of Rhode Island for 12 years. Since his competition debut at age 7, he won the Rhode Island piano competition sponsored by the Music Teachers' National Association five times. He competed regularly in events such as the University of Rhode Island's Piano Extravaganza competition, in which he received first prize in 2014. Sam has performed many chamber and solo works in masterclasses taught by Yo-Yo Ma, Larry Rachleff, Jeffrey Kahane, Awadagin Pratt, T.J. Lymenstull, Sheri Iott, and many more.
His background in piano, composition, and conducting led Sam to attend Interlochen Center for the Arts during the summers of 2010 through 2013. In the summer of 2016, Sam returned to Interlochen to work as a collaborative pianist in the theater department, where he worked with campers in several groups on various theater productions and coachings. At Yale, he works at the Yale School of Drama as a staff accompanist, and at the Yale School of Music both as a Stage Manager and Usher. He also has several private students in the Rhode Island area with whom he works on developing their pianistic skills and repertoire.
Pianist, conductor, and composer Agata Sorotokin (PC ’19) is a piano student of Melvin Chen at the Yale School of Music and has previously studied with John McCarthy in the Pre-College Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She recently began working with Mark Bailey for her conducting-related projects, which will include directing OTYC’s production of Bach’s Kaffeekantate and co-directing Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale later in the fall semester. Agata is a member of the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs and serves as the assistant director of the Opera Theatre of Yale College.
Off the podium, Agata is an avid soloist and chamber musician. Attending the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Vienna International Pianists program in past summers, Agata has participated in the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute for five seasons, was selected for the inaugural Finckel-Wu Han Chamber Music Studio program at the Aspen Music Festival, and just came back from a thrilling summer at YellowBarn. Agata has performed in master classes for Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish, Anne-Marie McDermott, Jon Kimura Parker, Inon Barnatan, and the Pacifica Quartet. She has appeared on NPR’s From the Top as a soloist and chamber music artist, sharing her passion for advocating for the music of our time.
Agata’s interest in conducting sprung from her experience in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, where she served as the Keyboard Specialist and made her solo debut at Davies Symphony Hall. Mentored by Maestro Alasdair Neale and Peter Grunberg, she served as the Assistant Conductor to Maestro Donato Cabrera, a position that she held on the orchestra’s 2015 European Tour. Agata is very excited to continue her conducting studies at Yale and looks forward to working with the Saybrook Orchestra this season.