Violinist Sheryl Staples was appointed Principal Associate Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic in 1998. She made her solo debut with the Philharmonic in 1999 with conductor Kurt Masur, performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto. Since that time she has been featured in over 25 performances, playing concertos of Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Yaap van Zweden, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane, and Sir Colin Davis. In addition, she has performed as soloist with more than 45 orchestras nationwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic.
Praised in the New York Times as “a perceptive musician, who plays with great rhythmic integrity and a lucid sense of phrase structure. . . interpretive honesty and unmannered elegance,” she has been lauded for her “refinement and boldness, polish and fire. . . big, rich, sweeping tone, lacking nothing in warmth and evenness” (Los Angeles Times) and “aristocratic artistry coupled with violinistic mastery. . . pinpoint accuracy and daring that took the breath away” (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
An active chamber musician, Ms. Staples frequently performs in the New York area at venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Staples has performed chamber music for U.S. ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong and has toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Staples’s major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Recognizing a passion for ensemble playing from an early age, Ms. Staples was appointed Concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles before finishing studies at the U.S.C. Thornton School of Music. She then became Concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, private teaching, and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures. At the age of 26 Ms. Staples joined the Cleveland Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster, a position she held for three years. In addition, she taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio.
In 2015 Ms. Staples joined the violin faculty at Manhattan School of Music as well as Juilliard Pre-College. She has served on the faculty at the Juilliard School in Violin Orchestral Repertoire since 2004.