B i o g r a p h y
Sherry Sylar is currently Acting Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic. She has been Associate Principal since joining the orchestra in 1984. She has also served as guest Principal Oboe for other major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, , the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic she was a member of the Louisville Orchestra. Among the highlights of her career was being chosen by the New York Philharmonic to perform in the historic Freedom Concert to celebrate the razing of the Berlin Wall, in which Leonard Bernstein conducted a select group of musicians from East and West Germany, the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
As a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic, she has performed Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, and Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe. In 1989 she was soloist in the orchestra’s performances and recording of Handel’s Oboe Concerto in G minor, Zubin Mehta conducting. She also serves as the New York Philharmonic’s oboe d’amore player, and she earned praise from the New York Times for her solos on that instrument during the orchestra’s 2013 Bach festival.
An avid performer of chamber music, she appears often in the concerts of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles. She played Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIIa for solo oboe at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in 2008. She is also a member of the Philharmonic Quintet of New York, which was formed in 2001 to give concerts for workers in the World Trade Center area following the disaster of 9/11. The quintet has gone on to give master classes and recitals worldwide and is preparing its first CD.
Ms. Sylar gives master classes for oboists internationally and was invited to China as a judge for the Beijing National Orchestra’s first-ever auditions. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University and her master’s degree from Northwestern University. She formerly taught at the University of Evansville in Indiana and since 2005 has served on the oboe faculty of Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City.
In March of 2016, Ms. Sylar performed the world premiere ot Pablo Furman's Oboe Concerto, which was dedicated to her. On January 20. 2017 she performed the European premiere of this piece in Olszytn, Poland with Maestro Piotr Sulkowski. The Furman Oboe Concerto was performed at the IDRS Convention in Tampa, Florida in 2019.