Violinist, Singer, Composer

About Sylvia

Program Bio

Described as “adorable and formidable” by the Illinois Times, nine-year-old Sylvia Pine began violin studies at age two and a half with Isabelle Rozendaal and currently studies with Davis King. She made her radio debut in October 2018 on the nationally syndicated show Performance Today.

As a Gold Medalist in the Young Maestro International Competition, Sylvia will perform at Carnegie Hall in 2022. She has also won First Prize in 18 other international competitions: the Junior Strings division of the Bach with a View International Young Artist Competition, the Rome International Competition, and London’s International Great Composers Competition’s Best Mozart Performance, Best Bach Performance, Best Vivaldi Performance, The Art of Strings, The Music of Germany and Austria (instrumental and vocal), The Music of Mediterranean Europe (instrumental and vocal), The Music of America, The Music of the 19th Century (instrumental and vocal), The Music of the 18th Century, The Music of the 17th Century (instrumental and vocal), and Rising Talents of the Americas (instrumental and vocal). She has also won Third Prize in the Kocian International Violin Competition in Czech Republic, First Prize in the Society of American Musicians Competition, and First Prize in the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Competition.

In 2020, Sylvia was to have appeared as soloist with five orchestras, including the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Rockford Symphony, and a tour of Israel with the Tel Aviv Soloists, with works including Schindler’s List and concertos by Bach and Vivaldi. Sylvia has given solo performances for WFMT, the Musicians Club of Women, the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World, the Illinois Symphony’s annual gala, the American String Teachers Association National Conference in Albuquerque, the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference in Minneapolis, and the 100th anniversary convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians. She has also given numerous performances around the U.S. and beyond at schools, retirement homes, homeless shelters, and children’s hospitals.

Sylvia is assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Debut Orchestra and attends group violin class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy. She has composed dozens of works and participates in the Tucson Symphony’s Young Composers Project. She also studies baroque and renaissance violin, medieval rebec, American old-time fiddling, Scottish fiddling, electric rock violin, jazz improv, music theory, piano, recorder, and voice. In 2019, Sylvia made her vocal debut in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the St. Pauls UCC choir and orchestra, and she belongs to the Chicago Children’s Choir. She celebrated her 1,500th day in a row of practicing on April 2.

Sylvia is home schooled. In addition to music, she enjoys reading, writing stories, playing in the woods, drawing, and learning about different species of mythical creatures. She is vegan and loves all animals. www.sylviapine.com – UPDATED JUNE 2021

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Full Length Bio

“Adorable and formidable…the look of concentration on Sylvia’s face belied a gradual build to a joyful crescendo. It was a treat the audience devoured happily.” The Illinois Times

Nine-year-old Sylvia Pine (b.d. September 16, 2011) began violin studies at age two and a half with Isabelle Rozendaal and currently studies with Davis King. She made her radio debut in October 2018, performing Balada by the 19th Century Afro-Brazilian woman composer Chiquinha Gonzaga for the nationally syndicated radio show Performance Today. This performance and more can be seen on her YouTube channel, SylviaPineMusic. She also frequently posts improv videos to her Instagram, @SylviaPineMusic.

In January 2017, Sylvia participated in a 100-day practice challenge through the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute. Since then, she has continued her daily practice streak and celebrated her 1,500th day on April 2.

AWARDS (STRINGS)

In 2021, Sylvia won a Gold Medal from the Young Maestro International Competition which will present her in performance at Carnegie Hall in 2022. She has also won First Prize and the Werner Scholz Memorial Award in the Junior Strings division of the Bach with a View International Young Artist Competition (2021), First Prize in the Rome International Competition (2021), and First Prize in 11 competitions from London’s International Great Composers Competition: Best Mozart Performance (2021), Best Bach Performance (2021), Best Vivaldi Performance (2021), The Music of America for a performance of her own composition, “The Glow of the Lamp” (2021), The Music of Germany and Austria (2021), The Music of Mediterranean Europe (2021), The Music of the 19th Century (2021), The Music of the 18th Century (2021), The Music of the 17th Century (2021), Rising Talents of the Americas (2021), and The Art of Strings (2020). She also won 3rd Prize in the 63rd Kocian International Violin Competition from Czech Republic (2021). In 2021’s Society of American Musicians Competition, she won First Prize in the Junior Viola division, Second Prize in the Primary Violin division, and Honorable Mention in the Violin Junior division. She won First Prize in the Violin Youth Division of the Chinese Fine Arts Society’s Music Festival in Honor of Confucius competition (2019), Second Prize in the Violin Primary Division of the Sejong Music Competition (2018) as well as the special prize for Best Interpretation of the Korean Piece (2018 and 2019). She won Honorable Mention as the only strings finalist in the New Music School’s Concerto Competition (2021), Honorable Mention in the Tutti Chamber Music Camp’s Concerto Competition (2018 and 2019), and was a finalist in the Houston International Music Competition (2021). She was selected to give solo performances at the South Side Suzuki Cooperative’s Honors Recital (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), Chicago Suzuki Institute’s Honors Recital (2019), and the Blue Lake Suzuki Family Camp’s Honors Recital (2018).

VOICE

Sylvia takes vocal lessons with Nancy Pifer, is a member of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and sings in her church choir. In 2019, she performed the “Adonai Roi” solo during Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the St. Pauls UCC choir and orchestra. In 2021, she won six prizes from London’s International Great Composers Competition: First Prize for The Music of Germany and Austria, First Prize for The Music of Mediterranean Europe, First Prize for The Music of the 19th Century, First Prize for The Music of the 17th Century, First Prize for Rising Talents of the Americas, and Second Prize for Best Handel Performance.

CANCELED PERFORMANCES

From March through September, 2020, Sylvia was scheduled to perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor with Rachel Barton Pine with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Maestro Alexander Weimann, the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble in California, and with the Tel Aviv Soloists and Maestro Barak Tal for concerts in Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, and Haifa. She was also engaged to perform the entire Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor with Rachel Barton Pine with the Rockford Symphony and Maestro Steven Larsen, and the theme from Schindler’s List with the concert band Windy City Winds. All of these performances were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Sylvia participated in a special video version of the Vivaldi Double Concerto that the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble put together in lieu of the live performance.

PAST PERFORMANCES

On June 6, 2020, Sylvia’s celebrated her 1,200th day of practice with a livestreamed performance of the complete 22 pieces from Music by Black Composers Violin Volume 1. Sylvia has given solo performances for Early Music Seattle, the Musicians Club of Women, the American String Teachers Association national conference in Albuquerque, the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference in Minneapolis, the 100th anniversary convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s Highland Fling Gala, the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra’s benefit, Vandercook College, the Midwest Clinic, the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago, the Chicago Scots Burns Celebration, Nicht w’ Burns, the Chicago Highland Games, The Village Chicago’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, Daley Plaza’s St. Andrews Day celebration, and the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World. In 2020, she appeared as a guest artist on five episodes of Rachel Barton Pine’s weekly livestreamed series “Family Fridays with RBP.”

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

In normal times, Sylvia travels to a different city or country each week, as she joins her mother, concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine, on tour. She regularly appears with her mom for concerts around the U.S. and beyond at such venues as preschools and elementary schools, music schools, retirement homes, homeless shelters, and children’s hospitals. Many of these performances include works from her diverse repertoire of music by women composers and Black composers. Sylvia’s presentations for young children include interactive, improvised musical storytelling.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Sylvia has been participating in many charitable efforts including performances for Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Songs of Soothing, the Becker Family Foundation, and the Kanack School of Musical Artistry. Every two weeks, she gives a special personal performance for a low-income senior citizen through the Musical Pen Pals initiative. She also participated in Chicago’s Violin Vigil for Elijah McClain. As a champion of diverse repertoire, she helped create a 22-episode series of instructional videos for each work featured in Music by Black Composers Violin Volume 1.

MEDIA APPEARANCES

In April 2020, Sylvia gave an interview and performance for the video podcast “Awesome Vegans” with Elysabeth Alfano and gave a cooking demonstration for the blog “Fiddler’s Favorites” on Violinist.com. In January 2020, she created three video performances to celebrate the launch of WFMT radio’s new family program “Saturday Morning Listener’s Request.” Also in 2020, she was featured on the cover of WTTW magazine, in Strings Magazine for the story “Musical Parenting,” and in the New York Times for their story about the Violin Vigil for Elijah McClain.

CLASSICAL VIOLIN EDUCATION

Sylvia joined the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Prep Strings at age five and is currently assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Debut Orchestra. She attends group violin class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy and participates in Amy Horman’s Violin Breakfast. During normal times, she also plays in the St. Pauls Intergenerational Orchestra and studies chamber music at the Music Institute of Chicago and the New Music School. In summer 2021, she will attend Heifetz PEG and the Elizabeth Faidley Violin Intensive. Her previous classical summer camp experience includes Point CounterPoint Prelude, PhoenixPhest, the Chicago Suzuki Institute, Tutti Chamber Music Camp, Blue Lake Suzuki Family Camp, and the Chicago Trio Workshop. She has also had lessons with Allison Bengfort, Hilary Butler, Pascal Innocenti, and Stacia Spencer, and has played in master classes for Rose Armbrust-Griffin, Darcy Drexler, Amy Beth Horman, Olga Kaler, Desiree Ruhstrat, Peter Slowik, and David Yonan.

EARLY MUSIC

Sylvia began using a baroque bow at age four, studying repertoire from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras with historically informed interpretations. She currently studies renaissance violin and medieval rebec with Shulamit Kleinerman and participates in the baroque interpretation class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy. She has also taken a baroque ornamentation class with Patrick O’Malley, early music improv classes with Tina Chancey, and has had supplemental lessons with period instrument specialists Brandi Berry Benson, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Allison Nyquist, John Mark Rozendaal, and Jeri-Lou Zike. Sylvia studies recorder with Miyo Aoki and participates in Voices of Music’s Junior Recorder Society. She frequently takes online classes from Seattle Historical Arts for Kids which include singing, dancing, percussion, and more.

OTHER STYLES

Sylvia also studies non-classical music, including American old-time fiddling with Matt Brown, Scottish fiddling with David Gardner and U.S. National Champion Tim Macdonald, jazz improv with Ben Sutin, and electric rock violin with Hamilton concertmaster Chuck Bontrager. During normal times, she regularly participates in the bi-weekly Chicago Scottish Jam, and has attended both the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling in North Carolina and the Strathsgheny School of Scottish Fiddling at Westminster College in Pennsylvania. She also studied Highland dancing from ages four through eight. Sylvia has had improv lessons with David Wallace and Edgar Gabriel and has attended the Mike Block String Camp in Florida, the O’Connor Method’s online camps, and an improv workshop at the Chloe Trevor Music Academy in Texas.

COMPOSING

Sylvia is very passionate about composing and has written dozens of works. She currently studies piano with Ani Gogova, takes music theory with both Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca at the New Music School and George Radosavljevic at the Music Institute of Chicago, and participates in the Tucson Symphony’s Young Composers Project. She takes classical improvisation lessons with Alice Kanack, having previously worked with Maeve O’Hara. She has also previously studied piano and theory with Andrew Rosenblum. She performed her original composition “Run Like the Rising Sun” at the 2019 MWROC Music Festival in Kansas, her violin duet “Farewell to You” was performed by the Northwestern University Strings Academy in December 2019 and on WFMT radio, and her solo violin piece “Theme and Variations on The Glow of the Lamp” was performed by Rachel Barton Pine for a livestreamed episode of Family Fridays with RBP. Many of her original Scottish fiddle pieces have been published in the annual Jink and Diddle Book o’ Tunes.

INSTRUMENT

Sylvia’s main instrument is a 3/4-size violin by Louis Bellini, which she plays with a modern bow by Émile Ouchard and a late 17th Century style baroque bow by Michelle Speller.

Sylvia is home schooled. In addition to music, she enjoys reading, writing stories, playing in the woods, drawing, and learning about different species of mythical creatures. She is vegan and loves all animals.

UPDATED JUNE 2021