Elise Blake is a versatile and experienced violinist based in Washington, DC. She performs with a wide array of ensembles including the Annapolis, Baltimore, Richmond, and Virginia Symphonies, the Eclipse and Baltimore Chamber Orchestras, and the National Philharmonic. She adores opera and has played for Wolf Trap Opera, Sarasota Opera, Rhymes With Opera, and Virginia Opera, among others. Elise joined the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra full-time for the 2016/2017 season and continues to perform with Michael Stern's acclaimed IRIS Orchestra.
An advocate of contemporary music, Elise plays here in DC with the GRAMMY-nominated INSCAPE Chamber Orchestra, the New Orchestra of Washington, and the PostClassical Ensemble. She is also a member of the Festival Orchestra of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. Under the direction of Cristian Măcelaru, the festival is known for its numerous world premieres of symphonic works and for making "contemporary repertoire sound urgent, indispensable, and even sexy" (Allan Ulrich, Financial Times).
Elise frequently collaborates on chamber music projects and solo recitals at venues including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, the Embassy of Switzerland, James Madison University, and the Peabody Conservatory. Lately, she performed on the KC Jukebox series, curated by Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason Bates, and also appeared on the faculty recital series at Peabody Conservatory with a program featuring works solely by women composers. Elise is a founding member of Femina Camera Trio, a piano trio most recently active with masterclasses and performances at Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Mary Baldwin University.
Originally from New England, Elise holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Boston University's School of Music; she completed her Master of Music degree in violin performance at Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. Her primary teachers include Bayla Keyes and Shirley Givens, with additional studies under Pamela Frank and Elisabeth Adkins.