Cynthia’s musical journey began amidst the organic culture and musical traditions of Cameroon, Africa where her parents were medical missionaries. From these exceptional beginnings, she continued on to The Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division, where was accepted at the age of ten.
Cynthia received her Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying primarily with Seymour Lipkin, and her Masters in Music & Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Cynthia has also spent time abroad, studying and assistant teaching at the Konservatorium Wien in Vienna, Austria. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Columbia University, where she is in the Music & Teaching of Music in Higher Education degree program. Her dissertation topic is Perceptions and Strategies for Eliciting Emotional Expression in Piano Playing.
Ms. Tobey is on the Faculty of Applied Piano at Columbia University as well as newly appointed Professor of Chamber Music there. She is also on the piano faculty at the Bard College Conservatory, Preparatory Division. A dedicated piano teacher and music educator with New York State Certification, Cynthia has been on the piano faculty at the Luzerne Music Center for the past six summers where she is the Chair of Senior Session Piano Studies, chamber music coach, and frequent performer on both the LMC Faculty Concert Series and the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival.
Cynthia performs extensively nationally and internationally throughout Spain, Germany, and Austria, and in many U.S. concert halls including Carnegie Hall, the Venetian Theater at Caramoor, Merkin Concert Hall, Zankel Hall at Skidmore College, Alice Tully Hall, The 92nd Street Y, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Eisenhower Hall, The Bardavon Opera House, Olin Hall at Bard College, Jordan Hall, The University of Conneticut, Columbia University, Miami University, Tenri Cultural Institute, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Thorndale and Mills Mansions, The Hyde Museum, among many others. Cynthia has performed with orchestras including The New York Pops, Camerata New York Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony, The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the U.S. Military Academy Orchestra, the Lake George Chamber Orchestra, and others.
She won first place in the New York Gifted Pianists Competition, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, and the Leschetizky Piano Competition. She is a top prizewinner of The New York International Piano Competition, Jacob Flier International Piano Competition, The Frederick Chopin International Piano Competition, and is a NFAA Scholar in the Arts. Cynthia is also the recipient of the U.S. Academy Achievement Award, Bard College Humanities Award, the Michael & Cecilia Iacovella Capuzzi Fellowship and the Festorazzi piano prize from the Curtis Institute. Ms. Tobey has also been featured multiple times on the national radio program “From the Top” as soloist, chamber musician, and alumni. Her performances continue to be broadcasted frequently on WMHT radio.
Cynthia has performed with violinist and President of Luzerne, Elizabeth Pitcairn, in 2011 as part of an educational tour of the North Country school districts, as well featured in the chamber concert series “Music and More” in Glen Ridge, NJ. At Luzerne, she has also had the honor of performing with acclaimed violinist and assistant concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra, Arturo Delmoni, as well as distinguished American composers John Corigliano and Richard Danielpour during their residencies at LMC.
Her primary teachers have included Margaret Shafer, Blanca Uribe, Herbert Stessin, Seymour Lipkin, Gerald Stofsky, and Evelyne Crochet.