"powerful and dynamically exciting" (the Australian)
Joy and curiosity are central to Elizabeth Sellars’ lifelong quest to create uplifting musical performances that transcend the mundane. Drawing upon her belief that music can delve into our essence, bring beauty to our lives and transport us to the sublime, Elizabeth’s artistic approach is to connect audiences with wonder through sculpted sound that is nuanced, rich, warm and ardent.
Elizabeth was born in Melbourne, Australia where her teachers were Nehama Patkin (piano), Andre Hadges, Arkady Feldman and Nathan Gutman (violin). As a student at the newly established Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, she was a member of the Birubi Quartet, established and mentored by Marco Van Pagee. She was awarded multiple scholarships by the Lady Northcote Trust, the Australian Business Foundation, Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Trust, The Australian Musicians Guild, the English Speaking Union and the Musical Society of Victoria.
Further study took her to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she studied with David Takeno (violin) and the Gabrieli and Takacs Quartets (chamber music). In the UK, Elizabeth was a recipient of the Martin Trust and the Countess of Munster Scholarships and as a member of the Techinski Quartet was a winner of the inaugural John Tunnell Trust and the Royal Overseas League Ensemble Prize and Miller Trophy. As soloist and chamber musician, she toured extensively in the UK, broadcast for the BBC and performed throughout Europe and Japan with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Elizabeth has appeared variously as guest Concertmaster and guest Principal Violin with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. She has also toured with the Australian World Orchestra.
As a sought-after chamber musician, Elizabeth has performed for Musica Viva, and in festivals and on radio world-wide. Her chamber performances have been recorded and published by Move, Naxos, ABC Classic, Toccata Classics and Tzadik. In collaboration with pianist Kenji Fujimura, her CD The Messiaen Nexus (including the world premiere recording of the George Benjamin Sonata) was chosen as the 2014 Limelight Chamber Music Recording of the Year. Future releases include the world premiere recording of works by Arthur Benjamin.
Elizabeth is a founding member of Sutherland Trio with Caroline Almonte and Molly Kadarauch, and Quercus Trio with Carla Blackwood and Rhodri Clarke. She is also a regular collaborator with Ensemble Liaison.
Strongly committed to the performance of new work, Elizabeth has received funding from the Australia Council for commissioning works for solo violin. She has performed world premieres by Katy Abbott, Julian Yu, Dominik Karski, Paul Stanhope, Paul Dean, Chris Dench, Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea, Andrew Ford, Gordon Kerry, Paul Grabowsky, Mary Finsterer and Dave Douglas.
For 16 years, Elizabeth was Lecturer in violin and Co-ordinator of Strings at Monash University where she was instrumental in developing a vibrant classical strings program. She holds a Phd on the stylistic interpretation of works by the English prodigy George Frederick Pinto. Now she enjoys teaching privately and at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Elizabeth has presented for the International Academy of Musical Arts, the Australian Violin Pedagogy conference, AUSTA, the University of Auckland, the International Akaroa Music Festival and the Pettman Junior Academy. As juror, she has served on panels for the New Zealand National Young Performers Awards, Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Great Romantics Competition, the Dorcas McClean Scholarship and the Singapore Teacher’s Association Performer’s Festival.
Elizabeth plays on a Eugenio Degani violin made in Veneto 1876 which is remarkable for its beautiful purfling and its deep and voluptuous viola tone on the lower strings.