Elissa Lee Koljonen
Photo Credit: Henry Fair
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“Koljonen is one of the biggest violin talents I've heard in years. This Beethoven Violin Concerto is the dragon at the gate of the violinist's concerto repertory, a profound and subime work that defeats most of those who would challenge it ... [Koljonen played] this piece with such extraordinary sweetness, tenderness and underlying strength."

Baltimore Symphony






Recognized as one of the most celebrated violinists of her generation, Elissa Lee Koljonen has thrilled audiences and critics in over one hundred cities throughout the world. Ms. Koljonen initially received international acclaim when she became the first recipient of the prestigious Henryk Szeryng Foundation Award and the silver medal at the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. Her playing has been lauded by the Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki) as “sparkling, sensual and personal”. Dan Tucker of the Chicago Tribune writes, “She displayed boundless technique and musicianship,” and reports the Detroit News, “…Koljonen brings to her playing not just assured technique but unflinching purpose and confidence.”

Ms. Koljonen’s upcoming highlights include performances with the Alabama, Eugene, Greenwich and Southwest Florida symphonies, among others. Recent past performances include engagements with the Annapolis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Boston Pops, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, New World Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Reading Symphony, and South Dakota Symphony. She has previously appeared with orchestras worldwide, including the Bilbao Symphony/Spain, Helsinki Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and the Seoul Philharmonic.


Elissa Koljonen has collaborated with such noted conductors as Mattias Bamert, James DePreist, Lawrence Foster, Richard Hickox, Neeme Järvi, Louis Lane, Andrew Litton, Eiji Oue and the late Bryden Thompson. Her engagements have taken her to some of the world’s most important venues, among them the Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Mozarteum, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London’s Barbican Centre, Seoul Arts Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. 

As a recitalist, Ms. Koljonen has performed in many musical capitals including London, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. A 2004 performance in Carnegie Hall was hailed with excellent critical review. Also an avid chamber musician, Ms. Koljonen appears regularly at festivals throughout North America, Europe and Asia. She garnered critical acclaim for her debut at the Queen Elisabeth Hall in London and her appearances with the London Mozart Players and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo in a special concert celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi Dynasty.

Elissa Koljonen is a protégé of the great Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music. Through his influence, she continues the legacy and tradition of Leopold Auer and his legendary school of violin playing.  k



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