AYPO engages highly talented artistic staff with incredibly interesting backgrounds. Learn more about our brass coach, Sylvia Alimena.
1. What is your primary instrument and when did you start playing?
My primary instrument is french horn and I began playing in the public school system in fourth grade.
2. What is your favorite piece of music to play/conduct?
To both play and conduct, Brahms Symphony No. 3.
3. What drew you to AYPO?
What draws me to AYPO is the creation of a venue for young people to experience a high level of orchestra music making. It’s probably the first time they will have the experience of performing a major orchestral work at a reasonably high artistic level. For me, it is the opportunity to pass on somewhat of an “old-school” style of orchestral performance and to teach them the good ensemble skills that will serve them for the rest of their performing lives.
4. What professional jobs do you have outside of AYPO?
I am retired from professional playing, but serve as conductor of Brass of Peace. In the summer, I serve as Assistant Conductor and brass/winds coach for the NSO Summer Music Institute.
5. Did you play in a youth orchestra when you were young and if so, can you please share a bit about that experience?
My first youth orchestra was the Junior Orchestra of Long Island, Eugene Kahn as director, in which I played for one year. They gave me a scholarship for my first private lessons. In my sophomore year, I joined the Long Island Youth Orchestra, Martin Dreiwitz conductor, with whom I performed major works – a Strauss concerto, The Schumann Konzertstuck for four horns, The Mozart Concertante for four winds and went on two fabulous five week tours.
6. Who are your musical mentors?
Arthur Goldstein - NY freelancer, first private teacher
The late Harry Shapiro, 2nd horn of the Boston Symphony
The late Joseph Silverstein, Boston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Boston University conductor, Utah Symphony Music Director.
7. What is some of the best advice you have received in your career?
Be on time, be prepared, be a good colleague.
8. What are some of your hobbies/activities outside of music?
Home renovating, learning new languages, hiking, fly fishing.