On The Road

Aspen student profile: Cynthia Phillippi

Cynthia PhillippiAPM photo/Nate Ryan

Aspen student profile: Cynthia Phillippi


July 29, 2015

If it's somewhere between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. during the school year, chances of finding 17-year-old Cynthia Phillipi practicing her viola in her room are pretty good. Phillippi says that even before she was born, her mother would take her to concerts and Broadway shows. You could almost say that music was part of her DNA from the start..

At age three, Phillippi began on piano. Then at age seven, every child in her second grade class was required to take violin. By the time she got to 7th grade, violin won out over piano, and it's been strings ever since. One of her violin teachers noticed that she really gravitated towards the lower register of the instrument.

Voila...a violist was born.

Phillippi's practice regime doesn't slack off in summer, but she does give herself more freedom. At the Aspen Music Festival and School, Phillippi says she's been given a lot of freedom. That's great for running scales, but it's also great for getting outdoors.

Even with a small-ish dose of arachnophobia, Phillippi is taking advantage of the wonderful hiking trails Aspen has to offer. Those walks are sure to fill her memory bank as she heads off to the Curtis Institute of Music this fall to further her studies.