Sylvia Reynolds Eckes

Sylvia Reynolds Eckes, professor emerita of piano receives her honor.

Photo courtesy of: Sylvia Reynolds Eckes

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Emerita professor awarded Royal Norwegian Order of Merit

Sylvia Reynolds Eckes, professor emerita of piano at Ohio University, was recently appointed Officer, Knight First Class, of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by Jostein Mykletun, consul general of Norway.

The honor, established in 1985, honors foreigners and Norwegian residents living abroad who have performed outstanding service in the interest of Norway.

During the ceremony, Eckes also received the Medal of St. Olav from Mykletun and a citation signed by King Harald V of Norway from Arthur Savage, Honorary Consul of Tampa, Fla.   

A performer and researcher of the music of Edvard Grieg, Eckes was recognized for her efforts to enhance musical bonds between the U.S. and Norway. Grieg (1843-1907), a Norwegian composer and pianist, is perhaps best known for his "Piano Concerto in A Minor" and his incidental music to Hinrik Ibsen’s play "Peer Gynt," which includes "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

"Receiving this appointment is a great honor and has reminded me of the many people in Norway and the United States who have inspired me in my Grieg studies along the way," Eckes said. "I am grateful to them and thank Consul General Mykletun and Honorary Consul Arthur Savage for this presentation.”

Eckes began her concert career with debut concerts in Oslo, Norway, and at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. During a residency in Oslo, Eckes was pianist and instructor at the Norwegian State Ballet Academy and orchestra pianist of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed in Norway numerous times and during her most recent visit, she held a concert at Grieg’s home. She has also recorded solo works of Grieg on the Connoisseur Label.

She has held full-time academic appointments at the University of Kansas, Northern Illinois University and Rollins College. Eckes also served as interim director of the Ohio University School of Music in 2001-2002, where she was professor of piano from 1995 until her retirement in 2011.

She holds degrees from the Peabody Institute, the Juilliard School and a doctorate of music arts from the University of Kansas.

Eckes resides with her husband, Alfred Eckes, in Sarasota, Fla., and is a board member of the Sarasota Concert Association, the Artist Series of Sarasota and the Sarasota Music Archive.