An “electrifying and engaging” performer, Ms. Zakarian presented her New York solo debut in 1996 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Since then, she has actively performed throughout the US, as well as internationally. Her performances have been enthusiastically received at such venues as the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles; Town Hall in New York; the Berklee Performance Center in Boston; and the Bulgaria National Concert Hall, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Ms. Zakarian's interest in contemporary music for solo percussion and modern chamber groups springs from an early age. In 1989, after winning first prize in the “Obretenov” competition, the most prestigious in Bulgaria, she played in a cycle of concerts in Germany. She has played with Bulgarian national orchestras, appeared on television, and has made various radio recordings. In April 1993, Sylvie made her British radio debut on the BBC’s “Classic FM”, and a year later in November 1994 she performed a recital on BBC Radio 3’s “Young Artist’s Forum”. In 2011, Ms. Zakarian was invited to Sofia to participate in the International Summer Music Festival, and to give master classes at the Conservatory.
Sylvie Zakarian was born in Varna, Bulgaria, to Armenian parents, and began to study music and piano at the age of four. A child prodigy, she was accepted to the Secondary Music School in Varna, choosing percussion as a new direction to broaden her musical range. During her nine years at the School, she won three first-prizes at national and international competitions and performed in numerous concerts and solo recitals.
Ms. Zakarian continued her music studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Music and while there, was accepted on scholarship via an audition tape to the Royal College of Music, in London - one of the first artists from Bulgaria post the collapse of the communist regime. There, she won the solo prize for percussion and was awarded the ARCO scholarship given by The Good Offices of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. During her 3 years residence in the United Kingdom, Ms. Zakarian played in a number of prestigious venues including The Royal Overseas League, The Chelsea Festival, and The English Speaking Union. In the spring of 1995, Sylvie was invited back to London to present master classes and lecture recitals at the Royal College of Music, the Purcell School and the Berkshire Young Musicians’ Trust.
Ms. Zakarian came to the United States in 1994 to study with renowned marimba soloist, Nancy Zeltsman. She graduated with honors from The Boston Conservatory in May of 1996 with the first Master's Degree in Marimba Performance given by the Conservatory.
Ms. Zakarian resides in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area, and actively teaches and performs. She is on the percussion faculty at the Longy School of Music for the Department of Modern American Music; department chair of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion for the Winchester Community Music School, as well as percussion faculty for the school. She has taught marimba at the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory Special Education programs, as well as Harvard University Arts programs,