Ms. Pitcairn helped Pro Arte celebrate its 30th anniversary season in 2007-2008 by appearing at a Benefit Gala to raise runds for Pro Arte’s concerts and educational programs, by performing Corigliano’s Suite from “The Red Violin” at the Hooray for Hollywood concert, and by offering a master class to students at the Rivers Conservatory of Music in Weston.
Born in 1973 into a musical family in Pennsylvania, Ms. Pitcairn began the violin at age three and performed her first concert with orchestra at the age of fourteen. Her path brought her to Los Angeles to study with Robert Lipsett at the USC Thornton School of Music. In her early twenties, two childhood dreams came true when she won a major competition to solo with the Philadelphia Orchestra and attended the Marlboro Music Festival.
Ms. Pitcairn performs in partnership with one of the world’s most legendary violins, the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius—said to have inspired the film The Red Violin. Pro Arte’s performance of Corigliano’s Suite from “The Red Violin” will showcase Ms. Pitcairn on this incredible instrument, which her grandfather purchased for her at auction when she was sixteen years old. Ms. Pitcairn has come to consider this violin her most inspiring mentor and friend.
Pitcairn champions new works of the violin repertoire; she introduced Corigliano’s Red Violin Chaconne to a Southern California audience of five thousand. Recognizing the potential of a young Swedish composer, Tommie Haglund, she commissioned a new violin concerto inspired by poems of the 13th century German romantic poet, Novalis. The world premiere of Hymns to the Night was given by Pitcairn and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in September 2005. The performance, broadcast live on Swedish Radio, received a tremendous ovation and critical acclaim.
Ms. Pitcarin has created her own style of an intimate house concert, which combines virtuoso classical music with the old world charm of Hollywood entertainers. Prior to her concert performance with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, she will perform at an intimate fundraising reception for Pro Arte patrons and guests. Attendees will be able to meet her and see the “Red Mendelssohn” in an “up close and personal” venue. Pitcairn says she is particularly inspired by Judy Garland and Jackie Gleason. She has performed her pre-concert show for many special events, fundraisers, and for the Classical Action for AISDS/Broadway Cares.
Ms. Pitcairn’s upcoming concerts will feature a Disney Hall debut and a return engagement at the Kimmel Center. Highlights of her 2006-2007 season included a recital on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Series and debuts with the Marin, Fort Collins, Santa Monica, Ridgewood, Colburn Conservatory, and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts Orchestras.
Pitcairn is passionate about bringing the joy of classical music to young audiences and about reaching out to the general public. She gives generously of her time to teach children and older music students, demonstrating technique on her instrument as she speaks to them about her career in music. In this spirit, she performed in a new Merv Griffin Lifetime TV reality series and recorded the theme to Rosa, a film by Sirocco Media directed by Marleen Gorris.
Elizabeth Pitcairn is the first woman to hold the position of concertmaster of Southern California’s acclaimed New West Symphony and the Ventura Festival Orchestra. She has performed the Brahms Concerto with Mahli Mehta and has served as concertmaster for Zubin Mehta, Navroj Mehta, and Michael Tilson Thomas. She is the youngest adjunct professor of violin at the USC Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts.
Her discography includes recordings of Tchaikovsky and Mozart Concerti with the Sofia Orchestra and Slovenia Radio Television Orchestras. For more information, see http://www.elizabethpitcairn.com/.