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About Elise

Music is more than a melody.

It's a connection. 

I use music to connect people with their world. It's a joyful feeling to see faces light up when they play a song, or laugh when they feel the vibration of a violin string. I like to think it's these moments and skills that make us human.


My goal is to preserve music in our society. With performances and lessons, I cultivate a lifelong relationship with music that inspires joy and wonder. I travel across Chicagoland in my happy yellow smart car, violin in tow. I bring music with me, and I hope you will, too. 

Elise Dalleska violinist and teacher
Elise Dalleska head shot

The Minor Notes

Elise comes from a family of mathematicians and scientists. She started playing violin when she was 5, and received a Bachelor of Music from Boston University and a Master of Music in violin performance from Florida State University. She is a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, has performed throughout Chicagoland  with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, and has been heard nationwide on commercials. 


Most recently Elise's article, "Keeping the joy for music alive: Engaging students who have lost the spark to play their instrument," has been selected to be published in the American String Teacher Journal. She maintains a private teaching studio, is a faculty member at the DePaul University Community Music Division, and is a Citizen Musician, an initiative of Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 


When Elise isn't with her violin, she enjoys the company of her husband and cat, fishing, knitting, sewing, attending the opera. and visiting museums.

The Major Notes

While earning her master's at Florida State University with an assistantship, she was co-assistant concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. She has been a substitute member of the Jacksonville Symphony and a finalist for the New World Symphony in Florida. Elise was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2002-2004.

A passionate teacher, Elise is a past member of the American String Teacher Association Studio Teachers Committee and has presented at the National ASTA Conference.

In addition to her private studio, she freelances in the Chicagoland area. Elise has performed in the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, and has played in the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra. She has been nominated for a 3Arts award for her performances in Chicago

An experienced chamber musician, she studied from 1998-2002 as a young artist at the Kneisel Hall Chamber music festival in Blue Hill, Maine, and is a founding member of Coalesce and Azurite Ensemble. While at Boston University she studied chamber music with members of the Muir Quartet and was associate concertmaster of the Boston Civic Symphony.

Elise's teachers have included Roger Frisch, Bayla Keyes, Eliot Chapo, Tom Hall, and Joseph Golan. She has worked with conductors including Cliff Colnot, David Robertson, Daniel Barenboim, and Pierre Boulez while a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She has played in Master Classes for Jaime Laredo, Donald Weilerstein, the Alban Berg String Quartet, members of the Julliard Quartet, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Elise Dalleska is an eclectic performer of genres including Americanca, Classical, Jazz, Blues, and Classic Rock. Her students play in top youth and school orchestras in Chicago and have earned distinctions in competitions.

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