Adrienne Elisha


2016-2017 Season

Adrienne Elisha and music have an extraordinary relationship. As a creator and a recreator, she understands music from the inside out and from the outside in.

She is a champion of new music–equally talented as both a skilled violist and as a composer whose voice is distinctly contemporary but whose inspiration is drawn directly from the heart. And for audiences experiencing her compositions, the result is a mesmerizing and emotional ride into an imaginary sound world unlike any other: Mario Davidovsky has described her sextet Anthelion as “a new kind of polyphony”.

Her music, as Leonard Bernstein put it, is “excitingly unpredictable, yet inevitable in retrospect.”

Adrienne is a 2007 winner of the Thayer Award in Music Composition, she received her Ph.D in Composition from the University of Buffalo, working with David Felder as a Presidential Doctoral Fellow. Also a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, Ms. Elisha’s grants and commissions include those from Meet the Composer, the National Music Teachers’ Association (naming her the 1997 “Ohio Composer of the Year”), Fortnightly Music of Cleveland, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, newEar Ensemble (Kansas City) and the American Music Center.

Her works have been featured nationally and internationally, including June in Buffalo, The Colorado Springs New Music Symposium, the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival, and at the International Bartok Festival in Szombathely, Hungary, where she performed her own solo and chamber works and premiered those of other composers.

Cry of the Dove—her cello concerto—was commissioned and premiered by The Cleveland Chamber Symphony for solo cellist Steven Elisha. Subsequent performances have included the Grand Rapids Symphony (David Lockington, conductor).

In addition to solo and chamber appearances at new music festivals, Dr. Elisha is currently principal violist with The Center for 21st Century Music Ensemble and the June in Buffalo Chamber Ensemble. She also performs frequently with Boston Modern Orchestra Project. During the Warsaw Autumn Festival, she was featured as soloist and composer on Polish Radio broadcasts, performing new works for solo viola including her own. Both of her talents were on display in Bern, Switzerland, where her composition —inspired by Paul Klee’s painting “Once Emerged from the Grey of Night”—was featured. As guest violist, Dr. Elisha also performed with the Ensemble Paul Klee in the premiere of Liber Fulguralis by Tristan Murail.

Other performances and commissions include those by solo bassist James VanDemark, The Rochester City Ballet, Musaica Chamber Ensemble, ensemble Interface, Netzwerk Neue Musik, eighth blackbird, The Chamber Orchestra of Boston, The American Chamber Ensemble, The Denali Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, and the Arditti String Quartet.

In 2009, nominated by Peter Eötvös, Ms. Elisha was the recipient of the Herrenhaus Composer Residency in Edenkoben, Germany, where she spent five months as resident composer. She also was named a Composer Fellow of the 2011 Wellesley Composers Conference (Mario Davidovsky, director) and was awarded a 2011 Outer Cape Cod Artist’s Residency. She is also a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and The Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Center).