Virtuoso-violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn has earned a celebrated reputation as one of America's most beloved rising soloists. She has performed concertos with the New York String Orchestra at Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music. Pitcairn performs in partnership with the legendary "Red Mendelssohn" Stradivarius of 1720, said to have inspired the 1999 Academy Award-winning film The Red Violin.
Critics from the Los Angeles Times to the Philadelphia Inquirer have praised Pitcairn's performances. The Saginaw News wrote..."Guest artist Elizabeth Pitcairn was stunning in her performance of John Corigliano's The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra. Pitcairn is an expressive musician who plays with a beautiful rich tone... she demonstrated glorious tone in all registers. Her great flair and bravura warmed the evening."
Born into a musical family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania-her mother is an accomplished Julliard-trained cellist and her father trained to be an opera singer-she started studying the violin at age three and made her solo debut with orchestra at age 14. In 1990 (at the age of 16) as her solo career rapidly ascended, the "Red Mendelssohn" Stradivarius was purchased anonymously at Christie's of London as a gift from her grandfather, which set a world record price and created an international mystery. Pitcairn's path took her to Los Angeles at age 17 to study with world-renowned violin professor Robert Lipsett at the University of Southern California. She is currently a member of the distinguished faculty at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts Conservatory in Los Angeles.
Pitcairn champions new music, and commissioned a violin concerto from Sweden's leading composer, Tommie Haglund, titled "Hymns to Night." She premiered this work with the Swedish Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in 2005-to tremendous ovations and critical acclaim-and the concert was broadcast multiple times throughout Sweden.
She recently performed for the international press at Christie's of New York-which invited her to demonstrate another rare Stradivarius-and gave interviews to CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Reuters, WNYC-FM, The Associated Press and The New York Times. In the fall of 2007, she was on the cover of the internationally recognized Strings magazine.
Pitcairn has created her own style of intimate concert, which combines virtuoso classical music with the Old World charm of Hollywood entertainers. (Pitcairn is particularly inspired by Judy Garland and Jackie Gleason.)
Her discography includes recordings of Tchaikovsky and Mozart Concerti as well as the Scottish and Carmen Fantasies.