Sylvia Chambless, pianist


Sylvia Chambless is widely recognized as one of the top piano teachers in the Northeast, having served on the faculty at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts for over 30 years, as well as on the faculty of the Chinese Foundation for the Performing Arts Summer Festival. She has received national and international acclaim for her teaching of gifted young pianists.

Her students are consistently accepted at the most prestigious universities and music schools, and have been frequent winners in competitions, including the New England Piano Teachers’ Association Competitions, the New England Conservatory youth concerto competitions, the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Competitions, the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition, the Steinway Association Competition, and the Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Musicians. Her students have been accepted into schools such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, and music schools such as Juilliard, Eastman, New England Conservatory, Peabody, Oberlin, and Indiana.

She is an accomplished and acclaimed pianist herself, having performed in Boston's major concert halls as well as New York's Carnegie Recital Hall (promotional flyer from 1980 shown at right) and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Of her performance of the Schumann Davidsbundlertanze, The New York Times wrote that “she alternated easily between tenderness, the capricious, sheer charm, and soaring lyricism.” Chambless is recognized for her outstanding performances of Schumann, Bach, Haydn and Debussy. As a celebration of the 250th anniversary of J. S. Bach, she was artistic director of a festival at NEC’s Jordan Hall, and performed the Partita in e minor in a premiere performance with the Boston Ballet.

Chambless was born in Louisiana, and won early recognition winning numerous competitions, including the Meri-weather Post National Competition at age 13, performing with the National Symphony in Washington, DC, and the New Orleans Symphony at age 15. She was presented in her NY debut as a winner of Concert Artist Guild when she was 20.

Chambless graduated from the Juilliard School, studying with the legendary Rosina Lhevinne, and Martin Canin. She earned her Master of Music degree with honors at New England Conservatory, where she studied with the great pedagogue, Leonard Shure. Chambless has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and NEC’s Jordan Hall.

She served as co-chair of the NEC Preparatory School Piano Department and is also former president of the New England Piano Teachers’ Association. Chambless was awarded Honorary Membership for her contributions to NEPTA and the community.

Chambless has been a mentor to many aspiring young pianists, and is devoted to the development of every aspect of a young musician. Her students play with brilliant technical facility, beauty, and expressiveness. She challenges each to discover his or her own unique creative potential and depth in understanding great music.

B.M. (The Juilliard School); studies with Rosina Lhevinne and Martin Canin, M.M. with honors (NEC); studies with Leonard Shure.

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