Violinist Eleanor Bartsch is the Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a member of both the Madison Symphony and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestras, and an active chamber musician throughout the United States. Currently residing in Chicago, IL and Madison, WI, she was recently appointed first violinist of the Petar Jankovic Ensemble, is a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic and Joffrey Ballet Orchestras, and performs with the Willy Street Chamber Players, of which she is a founding member and acts as Marketing Director.
Ms. Bartsch has also performed regularly with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, The Knights (Brooklyn, NY), the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Bach Dancing and Dynamite (Madison, WI), Midsummer Music Festival (Door County, WI), the Nashville Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony.
A champion of new music, Ms. Bartsch has worked with many well-known living composers including Michael Daugherty, Olly Wilson, Kurt Rohde, Cecilia McDowall, Agata Zubel, and Laura Elise Schwendinger. This season she will perform with the Milwaukee-based new music ensemble Present Music as well as multiple Grammy award winning ensemble eighth blackbird.
In May 2015, Eleanor completed her Masters Degree as a Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Music. She studied with David Perry and Felicia Moye and concurrently earned a graduate certificate in Business Entrepreneurship from the School of Business. She also holds a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison during which time she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School studying with Paul Kantor.
Eleanor enjoys listening to and performing all styles of music including classical, jazz, bluegrass, and hip hop. She is trained in both jazz and baroque violin and performs frequently with artists outside the classical world. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, food and wine, traveling, and sports (Twins baseball, Packers football, and all things Wisconsin Badgers)..
The YouTube video that stars Eleanor, "Elephants Dancing to Violin" went viral in 2014 and appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and other national news outlets. It currently has over 3 million views.
What is your favorite piece of chamber music?
It’s so hard to choose, and I typically love whatever I’m playing. That being said, I listened to the Mendelssohn Octet on repeat on my DiscMan for about a year straight when I was in middle school. I still get excited when I hear/play it! I also love the Bartok String Quartets and the Brahms Sextets.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
For a few summers in high school, I attended a chamber music camp in northern Minnesota--way up near Canada in the Boundary Waters. These are some of my best memories and they left a lasting impression. I had such a great time making music with friends in a beautiful environment that I realized I wanted to make music my career.
What’s your favorite Madison restaurant and what do you like to eat there?
Sitting outside at Graze for brunch (bibimbap burrito is my favorite) is great. Don't forget the mimosas! I also love everything I’ve ever eaten at Lao Laan-Xang.
What’s playing on your ipod right now?
Lots of Hip Hop and R&B—Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album is awesome and I’ve also been really into D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s album “Black Messiah.” Bluegrass and anything the Punch Brothers put out is great. I’ve been known to throw on Z104 (top 40 radio station in Madison) in my car and belt out all the words to the songs…
What would have been your career if not music?
For a long time as a kid I wanted to be President of the United States…it could still happen!
Where can we find you when you're not at WSCP rehearsals?
When I’m not working, you can find me spending the evening at a show at High Noon or Majestic, out soaking up the sunshine on a friend’s boat on Lake Mendota, or enjoying a Spotted Cow and cheese curds on one of Madison’s excellent patios.
What’s your favorite part about WSCP?
I love everything about this special group. We all really like being around each other, which makes collaboration easy and fun. There’s a willingness to try new ideas, and a great energy and integrity in performances.