Australian-born Elizabeth Sellars is a distinguished soloist and chamber musician with a reputation as “dynamically exciting” (The Australian) and “one of the few violinists…who can handle works that move in new directions” (The Age).
Elizabeth is a prize-winning graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she studied with David Takeno (violin) and the Takacs String Quartets (chamber music). Further significant influences included Sandor Vegh and Yehudi Menuhin with whom Elizabeth worked at the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall and at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland. In Australia, Elizabeth’s early training was with Nehama Patkin (piano), Andre Hadges (violin) and Arkady Feldman (violin). She was amongst the early graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School where she studied with the Polish violinist Nathan Gutman. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the Hepzibah Menuhin Scholarship, the Lady Northcote Scholarship, the Australian Music Foundation Award, the Countess of Munster Scholarship and the Martin Bequest.
During her time in London, Elizabeth 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 with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Now resident in Melbourne, Elizabeth is a member of the Sutherland Trio with pianist Caroline Almonte and cellist Molly Kadarauch. She has also performed with Elision, Libra, the Tin Alley String Quartet, Seraphim Trio, Wilma and Friends and Ensemble Liaison. As a member of Temenos Trio Elizabeth was third prize-winner in the 9th Concorso Musicale Internazionale “Riviera del Conero” in Italy. Elizabeth has also appeared as guest principal first violin with the Melbourne Symphony and guest concertmaster with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. She has performed on radio and in festivals worldwide, including Chichester, Cheltenham, Roaring Hoofs, Port Fairy, Huntingdon, Mornington Peninsula, Dunkeld, Bangalow, Castlemaine and the Blackwood River Chamber Festival. Elizabeth has recorded for Naxos, Move and ABC Classics, and her live concerts and recordings are regularly heard on ABC Classic FM.
Elizabeth is strongly committed to the performance of new work and with the support of the Australia Council has performed world premieres dedicated to her and the Sutherland Trio by Julian Yu, Dominik Karski, Calvin Bowman, Thomas Reiner, Paul Grabowsky, Stuart Greenbaum, Mary Finsterer and Philip Czaplowski. Her recent world premiere recording of the George Benjamin Sonata with Kenji Fujimura was the winner of the 2014 Limelight Chamber Music Recording of Year. Upcoming CD releases include the world premiere recording of Piano and Violin sonatas by George Frederick Pinto with Toccata Classics.
Recent performances include a rare performance of the Margaret Sutherland Violin Concerto with the Monash Academy Orchestra, concerts with Sutherland Trio at Benalla Art Gallery and the Mornington Peninsula Summer Music Festival and recitals with Kenji Fujimura at the Melbourne Recital Centre and in Thailand. She also performed with Ensemble Liaison throughout their 10th anniversary season including concerts at Ngeringa, Townsville Festival and Coffs Harbour.
Educating the next generation of students is a passion for Elizabeth. She has presented workshops for the Australian String Teachers Association, the University of Auckland, the International Akaroa Music Festival and the Pettman Junior Academy. As juror, she has served on panels for the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Dorcas McClean Scholarship and the Singapore Teacher’s Association 6th Performer’s Festival.
Elizabeth is currently Co-ordinator of strings at Monash University where she directs the Monash University String Sinfonia and enjoys teaching her many students.