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Sylvia Chambless

  • Co-chair, Piano (Preparatory School)

Pianist Sylvia Chambless taught at New England Conservatory's Preparatory School from the 1980s through 2013, and is former co-chair of the NEC Preparatory School Piano Department. She has also been on the faculty of the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts and the Chinese Foundation for the Performing Arts Summer Festival, as well as former president of the New England Piano Teachers’ Association. Chambless was awarded Honorary Membership for her contributions to NEPTA and the community.

When Sylvia Chambless performed in Carnegie Recital Hall, the New York Times said about her performance of the Schumann Davidsbundlertänze “she alternated easily between tenderness, the capricious, sheer charm, and soaring lyricism.” Chambless is recognized for her outstanding performances of 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, D.C., and the New Orleans Symphony at age 15. She was presented in her New York 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 in NEC’s Jordan Hall.

Chambless has received national and international acclaim for her teaching of the most gifted young pianists. They are accepted at the most prestigious universities and music schools, and have been consistent winners in competitions, including the New England Piano Teachers’ Association Competitions, the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Competitions, the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition, the Steinway Association Competition, and the Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Musicians.

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/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.