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Alumni Spotlight: Kayla Cabrera


SYSO Alumni Kayla Cabrera has some exciting news! This Fall, she will begin her Master's Degree at Yale School of Music! Way to go Kayla!


Cuban-American violist Kayla Cabrera began her private music studies at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has become a scholarship recipient at The Juilliard School, where she is a current student of Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory, and has previously studied with Roland Vamos and Matthew Mantell. In the fall of 2021, Kayla will begin pursuing her Master’s degree at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Ettore Causa. Kayla has had several recent engagements as a soloist, including performances at Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, Ravinia’s Bennet Gordon Hall, live on WFMT’s radio show “Introductions”, in the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s Rising Star Showcase, and with the Joliet and Birch Creek Symphony Orchestras, where she was acclaimed for her “elegant performance and her ability to make her instrument sing with a rich, soulful sound.” (Peninsula Pulse). A semi-finalist in the national Sphinx Competition, Kayla has also received gold medals at the International M-Prize, Saint Paul String Quartet, and International Enkor competitions, as well as a silver medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music competition. She has attended several of the nation’s leading music academies and festivals including Kneisel Hall, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, and the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Finckel-Wu Han Chamber Music Studio as a New Horizons Fellow. Outside of her musical studies, Kayla is passionate about several causes and interests relating to diversity, inclusion, and environmental issues. She aims to build a musically-based career centered around continued advocacy, outreach, and innovative performance in effort to pioneer the future of classical music as well as broader-scale climates. She currently plays a 1900 Chardon Pere et Fils viola, on generous loan from an anonymous donor.


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