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Valerie Sylvester

Violin, Viola

Valerie Sylvester

Valerie Sylvester received her Master’s Degree in violin performance from the Mannes School of Music in New York after completing undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto.

She revels in an eclectic musical career, playing not only classical and modern violin, but also Baroque violin, viola, and bass viola da gamba.

Valerie is concertmaster of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and of Opera York, and also freelances with symphony orchestras and ensembles around Ontario. In addition, she performs as concertmaster for many orchestral/choral collaborations throughout the province and is an avid chamber musician, having participated in the premieres of many new Canadian works.

Valerie is a founding member of several ensembles including Concordo and the Cardinal Consort of Viols. She was a member of the onstage band for the television show ‘Canadian Idol’ for its last five seasons and most recently joined ‘The Wintergarten Orchestra’, an eleven-piece band specialising in prohibition-era music from the dawn of the jazz age.

Valerie is an enthusiastic and accepting violin teacher for students of any age. She frequently coaches violin groups in an arts-focused high school in Toronto and also enjoys teaching at music workshops and festivals.

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Jesse began studying violin with Sheila nearly 5 years ago, and has made steady progress from day 1. Sheila is flexible with her teaching style and is positive, patient and understanding. She challenges him, and always provides good guidance and advice. Jesse greatly appreciates that she asks him for his opinion about both his playing and repertoire, helping him develop his ear, self-confidence, and engagement in his learning. The school’s twice-yearly recitals provide us with the opportunity to perform together (with me accompanying him) – a special experience for us both.

Karen Elkin


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