Vannia Phillips

Vannia Phillips received a BA in Philosophy from Villanova University before pursuing a Bachelor of Music at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey. She studied with Rami Solomonov at DePaul University, completing her Master of Music in Performance.

Passionate about teaching, Ms. Phillips studied Suzuki pedagogy with Edward Kreitman, Nancy Jackson, and Tom Wermuth at the Western Springs School for Talent Education, and later with Michelle George at the Music Institute of Chicago. She currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago. She is also a yoga teacher at studios in Evanston and Wilmette.

Ms. Phillips has been a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 1998. For twelve years she was the violist of Lyra Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Carthage College. The quartet most recently performed with Stafford James at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2013. Ms. Phillips has performed often with the Chicago Opera Theater and was the string quartet's violist in the Chicago production of The Color Purple. She has worked with Ars Viva, Lake Forest Symphony, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, New Black Repertory Ensemble, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Elgin Symphony. During her first eight years in Chicago, she frequently escaped its winter weather by taking trips down to Florida, performing with the Key West Symphony.

A lover of period instrument music, Ms. Phillips has played baroque viola with Baroque Band, Chicago Opera Theater, and Urban Baroque. She has performed on WFMT with Baroque Band. Ms. Phillips can be heard on the Baroque Band’s recording of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber’s Mensa Sonora and the soon-to-be-released recording of the complete Overtures by English composer Maurice Greene (1696-1755) on the Cedille label.

Ms. Phillips also enjoys contemporary, popular music. She has recorded and performed with local rock group Sleeping at Last, and can be heard on recordings with Mono and Lesser Birds of Paradise. She has performed with artists Vince Gill, Ben Vereen, Al Jarreau, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Barry Manilow, and Bernadette Peters. She appeared with the rapper Common on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and with Josh Groban on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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