Violinist, Singer, Composer

About Sylvia

Program Bio

Described as “adorable and formidable” by the Illinois Times, eight-year-old Sylvia Pine began violin studies at age two and a half with Isabelle Rozendaal. She made her radio debut in October 2018 on the nationally syndicated show Performance Today. In Spring 2020, Sylvia will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor with Rachel Barton Pine with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and with the Tel Aviv Soloists for concerts in Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, and Haifa. She will also appear as soloist in the theme from Schindler’s List with the concert band Windy City Winds. Sylvia has given solo performances for 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 has won First Prize in the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Competition, Second Prize and the Special Prize for the Best Korean Piece at the Sejong Music Competition, and Honorable Mention at the Tutti Chamber Music Camp’s Concerto Competition. Sylvia is assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Prep Strings. She attends group violin class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy and chamber music at the Music Institute of Chicago and the New Music School. She also studies baroque violin, American old-time fiddling, Scottish fiddling, electric rock violin, piano, and voice. In 2019, she made her vocal debut in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the St. Pauls UCC choir and orchestra. She has composed dozens of violin pieces and vocal pieces. On November 17, Sylvia celebrated her 1,000th day in a row of practicing. She plays a half size violin by Carlo Giuseppe Testore, 1721. Sylvia is home schooled. In addition to music, she enjoys reading, playing in the woods, weaving, and learning about different species of mythical creatures. She is vegan and loves all animals.

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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

Eight-year-old Sylvia Pine (b.d. September 16, 2011) began violin studies at age two and a half with Isabelle Rozendaal. 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.

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 1,000th day on November 17.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

In Spring 2020, Sylvia will 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 will also appear as soloist in the theme from Schindler’s List with the concert band Windy City Winds.

PAST PERFORMANCES

Sylvia has given solo performances for 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 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.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

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.

AWARDS

In November 2019, Sylvia won First Prize in the Violin Youth Division of the Chinese Fine Arts Society’s Music Festival in Honor of Confucius competition. In November 2019 and 2018, she won the special prize for Best Interpretation of the Korean Piece in the Violin Primary Division of the Sejong Music Competition, and in 2018 she also won Second Prize. In 2018 and 2019, Sylvia won Honorable Mention in the Tutti Chamber Music Camp’s Concerto Competition. She was selected to give solo performances at the Chicago Suzuki Institute’s Honors Recital (2019), South Side Suzuki Cooperative’s Honors Recital (2017, 2018, and 2019), and the Blue Lake Suzuki Family Camp’s Honors Recital (2018).

CLASSICAL VIOLIN EDUCATION

Sylvia is assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Prep Strings and plays in the St. Pauls Intergenerational Orchestra. She attends group violin class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy and chamber music at the Music Institute of Chicago and the New Music School. Her classical summer camp experience includes Point CounterPoint Prelude, 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, Davis King, Pascal Innocenti, and Stacia Spencer, and has played in master classes for Rose Armbrust-Griffin, Darcy Drexler, and Desiree Ruhstrat.

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 participates in the early music class at Northwestern University’s Strings Academy and has had supplemental lessons with period instrument specialists Brandi Berry, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Allison Nyquist, John Mark Rozendaal, and Jeri-Lou Zike.

FIDDLING AND ROCK VIOLIN

Sylvia also studies non-classical music, including American old-time fiddling with Matt Brown, Scottish fiddling with U.S. National Champion Tim Macdonald, and electric rock violin with Hamilton concertmaster Chuck Bontrager. 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 has also studied Highland dancing since age four. Sylvia has had improv lessons with David Wallace and Edgar Gabriel and has attended the Mike Block String Camp in Florida and an improv workshop at the Chloe Trevor Music Academy in Texas.

VOICE

Sylvia sings in her church choir and takes vocal lessons with Nancy Pifer. She recently performed the “Adonai Roi” solo during Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the St. Pauls UCC choir and orchestra.

COMPOSING

Sylvia is very passionate about composing and has written dozens of violin pieces and vocal pieces. She currently studies improv with Maeve O’Hara and theory with Gonzalo Garrido-Lecca, and has 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, and her violin duet “Farewell to You” will be performed by the Northwestern University Strings Academy in December 2019. Many of her original Scottish fiddle pieces have been published in the annual Jink and Diddle Book o’ Tunes.

INSTRUMENT

Sylvia plays a half size violin by Carlo Giuseppe Testore, 1721, a half size bow by Émile Ouchard, c. 1930, and an early 17th Century style baroque bow by Michelle Speller. She named her violin Minerva because it is very old and wise.

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