Elissa Lee Koljonen


Baltimore Symphony


“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 sublime work that defeats most of those who would challenge it … [Koljonen played] this piece with such extraordinary sweetness, tenderness and underlying strength.” 




Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra


“Violinist Koljonen gave an exciting, polished interpretation of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. Especially impressive was her communication with Maestro Russell, always indicating her wishes without pulling the orchestra out of sync … with contrasting full-out multiple stops, brave, raw sound and refined legato. Koljonen is an exciting young musician.”




The Philadelphia Orchestra


“It was so good that a review of the performance would essentially be a description of the concerto.  The concerto is supposed to do quite a lot, and in Koljonen’s hands it did it all.” [Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1] 



Greenwich Symphony


“Few violinists have the dexterity required to cleanly articulate the passagework in this concerto, of these fewer are also patient enough to allow the warm and simple lyricism of the piece to unfold. Koljonen was able to hear deeply within the orchestra and she interacted with individual musicians with eloquence… The audience was stunned at the close of the work and rose for a standing ovation almost prior to applauding.” [Walton Violin Concerto] 




Curtis Institute of Music


“[Koljonen] is … a violinist of immense presence. Technique is a given, but with a purpose. Case in point: the many fleeting moments of bending pitch and changing tone for expressive purposes.”   [Ranjbaran Violin Concerto]




Oregon Symphony


“Koljonen’s first performance with the Oregon Symphony showed her to be an exceptionally stylish player with a sweet sound and a lyrical gift. She was not overtly theatrical, but played with refined phrasing and tone, and a sophisticated give-and-take with the orchestra.” [Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4]




London Mozart Players


“[Koljonen’s] virtuosic poise was evident from the outset, her voluptuous vibrato enhanced by the subtlest touches of portamento. In the Adagio, Koljonen brought an air of discovery to the violin’s heart-rending melody; while the fiery Allegro energetico was infectious and captivating [Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1] … it was Koljonen who shone, her note-perfect finesse and interpretative flair making this an exemplary performance.”




New Haven Symphony


“With the Violin Concert No. 1 in G Minor by Max Bruch, things instantly picked up … the remarkable Elissa Lee Koljonen, a violinist of charm and technical virtuosity. Her work gained in intensity … She waxed lyrical as well as forceful in the undulating slow lines of the second movement, and the finale found her coolly and stylishly dispatching rapid-fire chords, triplets and staccato fortes.”




Reading Symphony


“Koljonen played with every fiber of her being, giving an intense, powerful performance of this highly emotional showcase for violin. She was most eloquent in her sensuous lower range, which had the depth of a viola, during the first two movements. In contrast, her highest harmonics were produced with incredible delicacy and control, and her performance of the cadenza in the final movement had a supernatural quality.” [Elgar Violin Concerto]

READING EAGLE (Pennsylvania)