Elise Blake, described as "a violinist of outstanding technical accomplishment and a musician of inordinate sensitivity" by conductor Steven White (Metropolitan Opera), has performed at notable venues in the United States and abroad including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the 'Globe Theatre' of Villa Borghese (Rome, Italy), and the Palais de la Musique et des Congrès (Strasbourg, France).
Currently based in Washington, DC, Elise is Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Baltimore, Delaware, Maryland, Richmond, Virginia Symphonies, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic, among others. She also performs this year with the IRIS Orchestra (Germantown, TN), Sarasota Opera Orchestra (Sarasota, FL), Rhymes With Opera (New York, NY), and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Santa Cruz, CA). Additional festival participation includes the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, Ash Lawn Opera, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, and the Orchestra Festival Geminiani (Tuscany, Italy).
Elise is active as a chamber musician and recitalist. Recent collaborations include recitals with faculty of the University of Virginia and James Madison University; performances at Virginia Tech, UNCG, and Mary Baldwin College of horn trio works by living female composers; and Handel opera arias with acclaimed soprano Elizabeth Futral. Elise has also performed with members of the Cassatt, St. Petersburg, Audubon, and Amernet string quartets.
Currently a teaching artist for the DC Youth Orchestra Program, Elise also served on the string faculty of Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA) from 2009-2014. Additional teaching experience includes Montclair State University, University of Virginia, and University of Mary Washington. Summer festival faculty positions included the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy, Roanoke Youth Symphony's Summer Music Institute, and Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival and Academy. In 2012 Elise was awarded a Pedagogy Fellowship from the Heifetz International Music Institute, where she received mentorship from world-renowned artists including violinists Midori, Alexander Kerr, and Paul Kantor, cellists Amit Peled and Steve Doane, and the Orion Quartet.
Originally from New England, Elise holds a Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University; she completed her undergraduate training at Boston University's School of Music.