Faculty Spotlight: Orchestra

Sibylle Johner is a Performer, Conductor & the BWS Music Director


Music is an integral part of the curriculum at the Brooklyn Waldorf School. Rudolf Steiner philosophized that the human being is inherently musical. In order to be a ‘full’ human, one must experience the making of music for oneself. Especially as a young chid, music enriches our innermost life. The Association for Waldorf Music Education notes that it is essential that the music curriculum in a Waldorf School meets the children where they’re at, following the stages of development.


chamber-music-concertLed by these principles, the Brooklyn Waldorf School is very fortunate to have a full orchestra program starting in third grade at BWS, led by Ms. Sibylle Johner. Sibylle is an incredibly experienced and talented conductor and musician with an impressive resume who has been with us since 2012. Sibylle has taught all ages for over 30 years, in various settings such as one-on-one, chamber music, orchestras, and small groups. She taught at Third Street for 20 years and conducted the Third Street Philharmonic Orchestra for 9 years. Ms. Sibylle is also the Conductor and Orchestra Program Director at the Chamber Music Center of NY. Take a look at their entertaining YouTube channel here, and a recording of a recent concert which Sibylle conducted at the Riverside Church Theater here.

Sibylle has traveled the world studying music from Germany and Switzerland to Rutgers and The Juilliard School. She finished her studies with a doctoral of musical arts degree. Sibylle has also performed all over the globe, usually with the Damocles Trio, of which she was a member, and has two renowned recordings available on Claves Records. You can find a recording of her masterful playing here.




In May, Sibylle played in Carnegie Hall with Grammy winning Jazz bassist Ron Carter for his 85th birthday. If you haven’t heard of him, he was named one of the 10 great bassists of all time by Rolling Stone and has a career that spans 6 decades.






Most recently, Ms. Sibylle conducted the Brooklyn College orchestra in a performance that showcased all women composers. The pieces were Dances in the Canebrakes by Florence Price and Symphony No. 6 by Emilie Mayer. You can read more about Emilie’s interesting history as a trailblazing female composer in the early 1800s in this article  by Barbara Beuys.





The Brooklyn Waldorf School is incredibly lucky to have Ms. Sibylle conducting the BWS Orchestra! She provides invaluable expertise and experience to our students. You can always find Sibylle immersed in music, whether it’s performing, conducting, or teaching. If you’d like to learn more about Ms. Sibylle and our Music program, don’t hesitate to reach out to admissions@brooklynwaldorf.org.