Program Biography

Born in Hollywood, CA, violist Cynthia Phelps' versatile career includes soloist, chamber musician, and -- since 1992 -- serving as principal violist of the New York Philharmonic where she also performs as a featured soloist. Known as an insightful interpreter of the Walton Viola Concerto, Phelps was one of the featured performers of the New York Philharmonic commissioned-double Viola Concerto Two Paths, written by Sofia Gubaidulina. Phelps has been featured in several nationwide "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts with the New York Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has also appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, Vermont Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

As a recitalist, Phelps has performed in Paris, Rome, London, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. As chamber musician, she has appeared with: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Zukerman and Friends Ensemble; Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Music from Copland House, and the Guarneri, American, Brentano, and Prague String Quartets. She regularly performs in major chamber venues across the country including Bravo! Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest, Ravinina, Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music Society. Phelps is also a founding member of the viola/flute/harp trio "Les Amies."

Honors include a Pro Musicis sponsorship, and First Prize in both the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the Washington International String Competition. Phelps studied at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she received an Outstanding Alumnus Award. She has recorded for many labels including Albany and Cala Records, Virgin Classics, Telarc, Koch International Classics, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Arabesque, and BBC Music. Phelps has also performed on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, Radio France, and RAI Italian Radio.