Sameer Agrawal is a Merit Fellow at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college training program for advanced string and piano students. He currently studies with Sang Mee Lee, and began studying violin at age 5 with Suzuki teacher Debbie Crosser. He is also a Fellow of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, a mentorship and scholarship program for underrepresented groups in classical music.
Sameer made his solo orchestral debut at age 12, playing Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen with the Northeastern Illinois University Symphony Orchestra. He has also soloed twice with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra of Chicago, the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, and Northside College Prep Chamber Strings. This past March, Sameer was a semifinalist in the Johansen International Competition and will compete in August as a semifinalist in the Cooper International Competition. He has also been a prizewinner at the DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers, Walgreens National Concerto Competition, Society of American Musicians Competition, Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest Concerto Competition, Center Stage Strings Solo and BIPOC Competitions, Sejong Cultural Society Competition, Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, Sound Espressivo Global Competition, and the Chicago Chamber Music Festival Concerto Competition.
Recently, Sameer was named a 2022 YoungArts Winner. He has appeared multiple times on WFMT's Introductions, a radio program highlighting young classical musicians, and was spotlighted on From the Top's Daily Joy. Sameer was the featured soloist on the 2019 Stars of Tomorrow concert series and has also performed at Make Music Chicago, the Thirsty Ears Classical Street Music Festival, ConnectD concert series, and presented recital and pre-concert performances at Symphony Center. This fall he will be presenting invited recitals for the Young Steinway Concert Series and Introductions.
Sameer has participated in masterclasses and guest coachings with Hilary Hahn, Riccardo Muti, Robert Lipsett, Ani Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Danielle Belen, Stella Chen, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Jessie Montgomery, Desiree Ruhstrat, Sibbi Bernhardssohn, Deborah Buck, Steven Tenenbom, the Cavani Quartet, the Arianna Quartet, the Spektral Quartet, the Lincoln Trio, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Summer studies have included Center Stage Strings, Curtis Mentorship Network, and the Chicago Chamber Music Festival, where he has worked with Simon James, Elbert Tsai, Danielle Belen, Fabiola Kim, and Steven Copes, among others.
An avid orchestral musician, Sameer performs with the MIC Academy Chamber Orchestra as one of its concertmasters, and also played with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, including as concertmaster. He was also co-concertmaster of the 2022 Chicago Youth in Music Festival Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and Lina Gonzalez-Granados.
Sameer plays violin and viola in the Hyacinth Quartet at MIC Academy. Hyacinth won an Honorable Mention in the Chicago National Chamber Music Competition, was a Fischoff quarterfinalist, performed at the MIC gala, and will be featured on Introductions this August. He also performs with the CMPI String Quartet, which has been featured numerous times at Symphony Center and performed on WFMT's Anniversary Special. He has performed in other chamber music groups at the Music Institute of Chicago, Chicago Chamber Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Chicago Public Schools.
Other musical interests include studying the piano, where he has achieved numerous superior ratings, as well as top ratings in Music Theory and Ear Training. He enjoys composing chamber and symphonic music.
Sameer attends Northside College Prep, a Chicago Public School. In addition to music, Sameer enjoys math, Rubik’s cubes, birdwatching, and computers.