Student Recital: Olivia Trinko

012513_cal_blackviolinSweet serendipity led a young Olivia Trinko to the violin. A friend happened to offer her lessons, Trinko happened to accept and this Saturday she will be showing off the fruit of what eventually became a 15 year relationship with the instrument.

“A family friend asked me if I wanted to take violin lessons from her,” Trinko said. “I didn’t even know what a violin was, but I thought it sounded interesting, and I have been taking violin lessons ever since. Looking back, I can’t believe how that question has changed my life.”


Trinko started playing violin at age six, so by high school she was already a fairly experienced musician. She decided to further hone her skills by joining the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony.

Playing in the Youth Symphony allowed Trinko to broaden her musical horizons by touring China, Australia, New Zealand and Bulgaria, as well as playing for audiences in Colorado. During high school, Trinko also participated in the Pre-College Chamber Music Festival at CSU.

It was here that she first met adjunct violin professor Leslie Stewart, who Trinko has been taking lessons from for the past year and a half. Stewart has been helping Trinko prepare for her recital since school began this fall, paying special attention to one piece in particular: Dvorak’s Romance.

“It’s one of her favorite songs, and she actually asked me last spring if I could help her learn it,” Stewart said. “I’d never played the piece myself, so I told her, ‘I don’t know if I’m comfortable teaching it to you.’ I learned that piece to see if it would be a good fit for her. I decided it would be and that I could share with her what I learned about the piece. I’m very grateful to her because I never would have learned it without her.”

The song will conclude Trinko’s recital after she plays some of the wide range of music she has learned over the past few years, including pieces from Vivaldi, Beethoven and Bartok. The goal is to share with her audience some of her favorite things about the violin.

“I love the violin’s beautiful timbre as well as the diverse repertoire written for it,” Trinko said. “I also like that the violin’s influence reaches beyond the classical realm into other genres like bluegrass.”

As a double major in music and engineering, Trinko is no stranger to reaching across genres. Her dedication to two such demanding departments makes her a standout in Stewart’s eyes.

“She is one of the most outstanding students I’ve had,” Stewart said. “She is really outstanding in engineering and has shown great leadership in that field as an undergraduate. In spite of all the time and energy that entails, she has also been very involved in music, playing in the chamber orchestra all four years, as well as taking lessons.”

Finally nearing the end of what might be considered a pretty atypical college career, Trinko is looking forward to sharing what she has learned in her student recital Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the Organ Recital Hall.

“I am so thankful that I have been able to study music while at CSU,” Trinko said. “My family, friends and professors in both music and engineering have been incredibly supportive of my endeavor. In particular, I would like to thank my violin teacher, Ms. Stewart, and my accompanist, Ms. Joyce, for helping me prepare for this recital.”


Collegian Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at