Violinist Elise Parker, a core member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra since 2012, is an active part of the Twin Cities music scene. Ms. Parker also performs with Minnesota Sinfonia, VocalEssence, Minneapolis Pops, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Forum, Hennepin Theatre Trust, as well as recording and performing with the Guthrie Theater, STRINGenius, and the Children’s Theatre. The Star Tribune has described her playing as “soulful,” while the Pioneer Press wrote “Elise Parker wrings pure beauty from her violin.”
As an avid orchestral musician, Elise has performed with numerous ensembles, including the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, San Antonio Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony, KUHF Houston Public Radio Chamber Players, 21/20 Contemporary Ensemble at the Shepherd School of Music, and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. She has served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School of Music’s Symphony and Chamber Orchestras at Rice University, and principal of one of the Aspen Music School’s orchestras while attending on full scholarship. Ms. Parker’s Midwest highlights include solo performances on the 50-yard line at a Wisconsin Badgers football game and center field at a Minnesota Twins baseball game. International highlights include participating in the Beijing International Music Academy and touring western Europe with the University of Wisconsin-Madison orchestra.
Ms. Parker underwent several years of training in string pedagogy throughout the country. Consequently, she differentiates her instructions to young musicians, in both private and group settings, so they may confidently develop skills to their full potential. Since 2010, Ms. Parker has been a teacher for the Augsburg University Suzuki Talent Education Program, a nationally and internationally recognized program. She also visits dozens of Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools giving classroom demonstrations, all-school orchestral performances, and conducting high school orchestra sectionals.
Ms. Parker received a Bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a School of Music scholarship. From there she attended Rice University, earning a Master’s degree and was the recipient of the Distinguished Fellowship of Violin Award. She has studied privately with Kathleen Winkler, Vartan Manoogian, Maseo Kawasaki, Naoko Tanaka, and Nancy Lokken.
In her free time, Elise enjoys walking, biking, and running around the many lakes near her south Minneapolis home.