A New York native, Désirée Elsevier was a full time regular member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York from 1987 to 2021. She currently resides in Dallas, TX, playing extra with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera, the Fort Worth Symphony and the Austin Symphony. She can also be heard with Voices of Change in Dallas, and the Victoria Bach Festival in Victoria, Texas.
Desiree Elsevier is one of the principal violists of Classical Tahoe, a summer festival orchestra in Lake Tahoe, NV https://classicaltahoe.org/. Also check out PBS Reno's special on Classical Tahoe concerts from the summers of 2020, and 2021 https://www.pbsreno.org/watch/ClassicalTahoe/ .
She has also been the viola coach at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland since 2015 https://www.verbierfestival.com/en/
Desiree Elsevier is a coach at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East formerly of Bennington, VT https://cmceast.org/
A member of the World Orchestra for Peace (founded by Sir Georg Solti, now led by Valery Gergiev), which performs concerts in the name of world peace and harmony across the world, from Chicago to Beijing. http://www.worldorchestraforpeace.com/
She performed the Bartok Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in May 2018 in Portland, OR with the Sunnyside Symphony, and in October 2013 with the Greeley Philarmonic in Colorado. In February 2013, she premiered Glen Cortese's Viola Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra in Buffalo, NY. http://glencortese.com/
Her first job was as Assistant Principal Viola in the Orchestra di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, where she learned to drive, and to argue (negotiate) in Italian. https://www.teatrosancarlo.it/en/
She can also be heard on numerous soundtracks and albums: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/desiree-elsevier-mn0000104753
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cornell University from what is now the Dyson School of Economics, where she also studied composition with Karl Husa and Stephen Stucky. She went on to receive a Bachelor and Master's degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Lillian Fuchs and Karen Tuttle.
Special recognition is due to my early teachers for the gifts they gave me. Harry Alshin https://www.kendormusic.com/cc6/composers/composers-a-b/harry-alshin.html for instilling in me the joy of music. Frances Magnes https://localwiki.org/hsl/Frances_Magnes for teaching me technique and slow practice. Finally, Sonya Monosoff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonya_Monosoff for pushing me into the amazing career that I have.
Desiree Elsevier's viola is made by Otto Stam, 1972, instrument no. 105. The color of the stain used on the instrument is called "drakenbloed" or dragon blood. http://www.stam-vioolbouw.nl/
When she’s not playing the viola, she is trying to make the great American short film, learning the best ways to tell stories. In addiction she knits, she gardens, she’s an avid reader, an amateur writer, is an accidental triathlete, and is looking for the ideal location for the perfect house (suggestions will be entertained!).
The very best thing she ever did was to have two children, who are now two amazing and completely launched adults!
photo credit Michael Benabib