Born to musician parents in Leipzig, she had her first violin lesson with Klaus Hertel at the age of six.
Whilst still a pupil at the Leipzig Thomasschule she achieved first prizes at various competitions. As a student in Gustav Schmahl’s master class, she made her debut, aged fifteen, as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s 2nd violin concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Kurt Masur. Numerous guest appearances in Germany and abroad followed, as well as intensive studies with amongst others Yehudi Menuhin, André Gertler, and Max Rostal. Sylvia-Elisabeth Viertel completed her studies with Igor Ozim and Karen Turpie in Berne and was awarded her soloist diploma with honors.
Regular work with Kurt Masur and the Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as appearances with numerous other orchestras such as Staatskapelle Berlin, Bamberg Symphony, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich served to strengthen her artistic development.
She has become a welcomed guest at, among others, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival.
Her concerts have taken her to most European countries and their prestigious forums such as Berlin Philharmonie, Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater in Munich, Tonhalle Zurich, Schauspielhaus Berlin and Musikverein Wien.
Her rich repertoire embraces the whole spectrum of violin music. Particular affection is reserved for lesser-played and unknown literature. She is an enthusiastic chamber music player in various formations.
Numerous radio and TV productions as well as different chamber music recordings, have all been accomplished in recent years. Two CD recordings document her artistic work.
She was guest leader of the Royal Danish Orchestra as well as both Camerata Salzburg and Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss.
She held a professorship in Aarhus, Denmark and is now a professor for violin and chamber music at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria.
She plays a violin by Nicolaus Gagliano 1765.