(’79, ’83) viola
2001 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner
Violist Cynthia Phelps’s versatile career includes appearances as chamber musician, soloist, and Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic, with which she has appeared as soloist on major stages across the globe in a wide range of repertoire, including the recent premiere of a new viola concerto written for her by Julia Adolphe. Other solo engagements include the Minnesota Orchestra, Shanghai, Vermont, and San Diego Symphonies, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, and Rochester and Hong Kong Philharmonics. She has collaborated with artists including Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuel Ax, Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, and Yefim Bronfman, among many others, and she has given recitals internationally in the major music capitals.
Featured in nationwide Live from Lincoln Center telecasts, on National Public Radio, Radio France, Minnesota Public Radio, and Italy’s RAI, Ms. Phelps, a founding member of the flute-harp-viola trio “Les Amies,” performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and ensembles including the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri, American, and Brentano String Quartets. A frequent guest at the Summerfest LaJolla, Bravo!Vail, Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals, her honors include First Prize in both the Lionel Tertis International and Washington National Competitions; she was winner of the Pro Musicis International Award. Her most recent recording, Air, for flute, harp and viola, was nominated for a Grammy Award. She is on the faculty of the Juilliard School Shanghai Academy, Music Academy of the West, and Mannes College of Music.
Ms. Phelps attended the Music Academy in 1979 and 1983, and was named a recipient of the Music Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001.