Sydney Whipple is native of Oakland, California. She is a current student of Carol Rodland at The Juilliard School where she is a proud recipient of the prestigious Kovner Fellowship. Sydney began lessons on the violin at age 5 and switched to the viola when she was 10. At age 12 Sydney was appointed principal violist of Berkeley Youth Orchestra where she remained for three years. At 14, Sydney created a year-long strings program at her middle school, teaching violin. As a result she was awarded the President’s Award for Educational Achievement, presented by the U.S. Department of Education.
She spent her freshman year at Interlochen Arts Academy as a student of Renée Skerik, and the rest of her high school years studying under Dimitri Murrath at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Program. During her senior year of highschool Sydney served as President of the Conservatory’s Pre-College Student Council. She graduated from the pre-college program in 2020 as the first person to complete all three scholar projects in the conservatory’s certificate program, doing so in just one year. Sydney was also selected as the senior speaker for the conservatory’s pre-college commencement ceremony.
Sydney has a passion for chamber music. In addition to attending chamber-focused summer programs, she was previously a member of Young Chamber Musicians from 2018 to 2020, and is currently a member of two chamber groups at The Juilliard School, coached by members of The Juilliard String Quartet.
Sydney made her orchestral debut at the age of 17, performing the Walton Viola Concerto, and Bruch Romanze with the Yuba Sutter Symphony. She has spent past summers at Encore Music Academy, California Summer Music, the Elias Goldstein Viola Intensive, Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, and Music@Menlo. In addition, she has played in masterclasses for Kim Kashkashian, Ori Kam, and Donald McInnes. She won 1st prize at the 2019 Cal ASTA SF Competition, 2nd prize, Best Bach Performance, and Best New Composition Performance at the 2018 Northern California Viola Society Solo Competition, and 1st prize at the 2020 Cal ASTA state solo competition senior division. Sydney also has an interest in the brain and how music cultivates empathy.