Michelle Lee Elliott has enjoyed a diverse musical career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist. She was a founding member and first violinist of the Vinca Quartet from 2003-2008, during which time the quartet was appointed as the first resident quartet to study and collaborate with the Tákacs Quartet at the University of Colorado. They were prizewinners of the Fischoff National String Quartet Competition, and laureates of the Chesapeake and Plowman Chamber Music Competitions, and the Premio Paolo Borciani Competition in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Vincas were also selected to participate in the Emerson Quartet’s Carnegie Hall Training Workshop where they were hailed as “stunning” and “musicians worth keeping an eye on” by the New York Times.
With a strong belief in the power music has to transform lives, Michelle spent two years as a teaching-artist at Music Haven, a non-profit organization in New Haven, Connecticut, dedicated to building a vibrant urban community through music performance and education. As the first violinist of the Haven String Quartet, the organization’s resident ensemble, she helped to bring world-class performances to underserved areas in New Haven, and also developed strong mentoring relationships with students through Music Haven’s instrumental lessons program.
Michelle has also appeared as soloist with various orchestras, including a recent appearance with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and she currently serves as the associate concertmaster of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Michelle continued her studies at the Yale School of Music where she earned both a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degree. She also received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado. Michelle began her studies with Mary Nagy in Decatur, Illinois, and her other primary teachers include Terrine Gomez of the Young Artist’s Studio, Sherban Lupu, Danwen Jiang, Syoko Aki, and Edward Dusinberre.