Elizabeth Wallfisch

Elizabeth Wallfisch

A leading interpreter of music on the baroque and classical violins, Elizabeth Wallfisch is a favourite with both audiences and orchestras because of her virtuosity, her generous, sparkling personality and her impeccable musicianship. Her appearances are marked by a daring and spontaneous approach to performance that results in electrifying musicmaking. Renowned not only as a prominent interpreter of 17th and 18th century violin music, she is also an inspiring leader and director. She has guest-directed many of the world’s best period orchestras, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (of which she was a founding member), Netherlands Bach Society, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, the Hanover Band, L’Orfeo Barockorchester, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Philharmonia Baroque.

Increasingly popular with modern-instrument orchestras, she has also directed the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony. Her playing has taken her from the Lincoln Center in New York, where she led the Orchestra of the Enlightenment in the opening concert of the 2003 Handel Festival, to Zimbabwe, where she appeared as soloist with the Harare Symphony Orchestra (and brass band from the local police department!) in a rendition of Brahms’ Violin Concerto. For 15 years she has been the concert master of the prestigious Carmel Bach Festival in California. In January 2007 she was the Music Director of National Music Camp Australia.

Elizabeth Wallfisch’s long and impressive discography offers a window onto her expansive musical world. From the High Baroque Italian violinist-composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli, Veracini, Tartini, Geminiani and the Classical and Romantic greats from Mozart to Mendelssohn, she also embraces the music of their lesser-known contemporaries such as Mysliveček and Abel. She has explored the music of Paganini and Viotti and has recorded most of the music of the great Baroque tradition, from the earliest Italian violin music of Cima, to Biber, Telemann, Bach and the rich, sensual music of the French Baroque.

Forthcoming and recent directing engagements include Musica Angelica Los Angeles, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, Atlanta Baroque, and return invitations to Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vasteras Sinfonietta, and her debut directing the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

Always keen to nurture young talent, Elizabeth has recently formed The Wallfisch Band, a unique international period-instrument orchestra in which hand-picked younger players, either still studying or on the threshold of their careers, play alongside Elizabeth and her seasoned colleagues, all players at the very top of the profession. The experience is a living ‘masterclass’ within an intensive rehearsal and concert environment. The combination of youthful energy and musical experience results in performances of the greatest vigour, intensity and passion. The ensemble made its debut in the 2008 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music and will perform in the UK, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia in the coming seasons.

Elizabeth Wallfisch has published a treatise, specifically on fundamental aspects of baroque violin playing: The Art of Playing Chin-Off for the Brave and the Curious, published by King’s Music.

Elizabeth has recently been appointed Director of Baroque Programmes with the Israel Chamber Orchestra.