Experience

Experience

Marilyn Sophos is a gifted and accomplished musician and music teacher who has maintained her private piano teaching practice for decades.  She has taught hundreds of students of all ages, from beginners to advanced musicians.

Many of her students have performed at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festivals, consistently earning rave reviews.  Studying with Marilyn Sophos provides a solid education in pianistic technique, musical interpretation, and music theory and history for children or adults at all levels from beginners to highly advanced students.

Early Years

Marilyn grew up in southwestern Michigan.  She began her piano studies at age six with Grace Fairchild Hardy in Battle Creek.  Within two years, she gave her first performance on the radio.  During her school years, she became an accomplished choral accompanist for the Boys’ Glee Club and the High School Chorus.  She also performed with the school orchestra and was chosen to perform in a major concert at the W. K. Kellogg Auditorium in Battle Creek.  By the age of 13, she began to teach Grace’s students during times when Grace was away.  Later in high school, she studied under John Wheeler, who previously taught at the University of Michigan.

She won a scholarship to Western Michigan University (then Western Michigan College) and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.  She continued to perform and accompany vocalists and instrumentalists.

During her college years, she continued her studies with Dorothea Sage Snyder; Julius Stulberg, who before becoming the head of the String Department at Western had been on the faculty of Michigan State University; Owen Berger; and H. Glenn Henderson, who had studied in Paris with a teacher whose musical training was traceable directly to the great composer Frédéric Chopin.

Post-College

As a soloist, she won competitions held by the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras and performed Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto with both orchestras.

Following graduation, she continued her teaching career in Kalamazoo in the studio of H. Glenn Henderson and in Richland, Michigan, where she also taught music in the public schools for two years.

Tony in about 1942

In 1952, she moved to New York City, where she met and later married Anthony Sophos, a cellist with the New York Philharmonic who had studied at Juilliard and had previously been a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini.  After he left the Philharmonic in 1958, Tony had a long and successful career as a freelance cellist, performing in many Broadway musicals, movies, commercials, and television programs, and touring and recording with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, and many others.  He also taught cello privately and at Manhattanville College and the Music Conservatory of Westchester until his death in 2004.

Teaching

While in New York City, Marilyn earned a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.  She was chosen by Dr. Robert Pace, the head of the Piano Department at Teachers College, to join his private teaching practice in Scarsdale, New York.  She also taught music at the Bentley School in Manhattan for two years.

Striking out on her own, she was honored to have Dr. Pace give her a number of students to begin her own private teaching practice, which she moved to Bronxville when she and Tony moved there.  During these early years, she taught Julie Steinway (yes, one of those Steinways) and two members of the famous King Family Singers, along with other students.  In 1960, the young family moved to Dobbs Ferry and Marilyn’s teaching practice grew and became very successful.

She has two sons. Marc, trained as an attorney, is a public radio producer and an advanced pianist who has performed professionally.  Kip, four years younger, is a professional jazz bass player who also builds custom electric basses and teaches karate.  Marilyn, still vibrant and energetic in her 80s, continues her teaching practice in Dobbs Ferry.

Contact her directly if you’re ready to start a discussion about how you or your child — or perhaps both — could reap the rich benefits of studying with this gifted teacher.