For Elisabeth von Trapp, “ the sounds of music “ are part of her earliest memories. Whether they were from the baroque instruments and four part harmonies of the family choir, the legendary Trapp Family Singers, a classical symphony on the turntable, or songs played on the diverse collection of musical instruments in the living room; piano, cello, guitars, ukulele, accordion, recorders, dulcimer or zither, music was always present.
Inspired by her father's guitar playing and singing she began taking piano lessons when she was eight. At sixteen she was playing guitar and traveling the back roads of New England performing with her siblings at weddings, gospel meetings and town halls. Since those formative years, Elisabeth has appeared with orchestras and choirs, taking her music from the subway platforms of New York City to folk clubs, opera houses and major performance centers; her voice has been heard from the Washington National Cathedral and the Kennedy Center to the disaster relief camps of Mississippi and Louisiana .
A unique combination of the ethereal and earthy, Elisabeth’s voice has been nurtured by a rich tradition of classical, folk and pop music. Described by The New York Times as “ hauntingly clear ... tender and romantic,” her voice moves easily from a whisper to a full-throated cry, enchanting audiences with each performance.
Elisabeth’s concert programs cover a wide stylistic range. With seamless ease, she applies her luminescent voice to the music of contemporary folk and jazz, Bach and Richard Rodgers. Her pure voice is accompanied by the elegant arrangements of her guitar with longtime musical collaborator, cellist Erich Kory . Her songs become timeless ballads revealing her penchant for beautiful melancholy.
Elisabeth has released five self produced albums, and has performed across the United States, Austria and Russia. Her music has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC-Radio, Japanese National Radio and CNN Spanish Radio. She has appeared on CBS’s Eye on People, ABC’s Good Morning America and BBC-TV.
In the spring of 2001 Elisabeth scored a nearly unprecedented coup: winning permission from Robert Frost’s famously reticent publisher, Henry Holt & Co., to sing parts of the poet’s oeuvre. Poetic License, released in June 2004, incorporates the sounds of jazz, contemporary and classical influences in the musical settings of poems by Frost and Shakespeare, a Japanese haiku and interpretations of Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World, Sting’s Fragile and A Whiter Shade of Pale.
On her summer 2005 release, Love Never Ends / Sacred Sounds, Elisabeth has collected, arranged and recorded some of her favorite hymns, psalms and chants incorporating influences from the jazz and gospel, contemporary and classical musical styles.
Describing her unique musical approach, The Chicago Tribune says that “Elisabeth von Trapp sings.... with an astonishing clarity about disappointment, the power of love and coming of age...”