Anthony Elliott

Anthony Elliott playing the cello.

Anthony Elliott, Guest Conductor

Anthony Elliott, Professor of Cello, and Conductor of the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra at the University of Michigan, continues a groundbreaking career in the field of classical music. He is a long time advocate for music in public and inner city schools, and has worked toward the development of new constituencies with symphony boards and foundations. He has given countless workshops, clinics and performances in schools and community centers across the country.

Anthony Elliott was the first African-American musician to be appointed to a “front desk” position in a major symphony orchestra, when he was selected by Stanislav Skrowaczewski to become the Associate-Principal of the Minnesota Orchestra. With the financial assistance of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Jerome Foundation of Saint Paul, he commissioned and premiered the Cello Concerto by African-American composer, Primous Fountain. A number of prominent African-American composers have dedicated works to him including Primous Fountain, Augustus Hill, James Lee and Chad Hughes. He served as Principal Cello of the Vancouver Symphony. He has served on the boards of the Afro-American Musical Opportunities Association, the Music Assistance Fund, and the Sphinx Organization. Recently he served as guest conductor for the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra in a critically acclaimed concert in Carnegie Hall. He established a scholarship fund at the Community Music Center of Houston, and was one of three nationally known jurors for the National Black Music Colloquium and Competition, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C…

In 1987 he won the Emanuel Feuermann International Cello Competition, and was the top ranked American cellist in the 1979 Concours Cassado in Florence, Italy. He has appeared frequently as a soloist with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, and the CBC Toronto Orchestra. As a guest artist he performs at the Aspen, Sitka, Seattle Texas, and Bargemusic Festivals, Chamber Music International of Dallas, and Houston’s DaCamera Series. He was a member of Quartet Canada and the Lyric Arts String Quartet. He has appeared with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Concord String Quartets, and with the present and former concertmasters of the Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

He has conducted symphony, opera and ballet to great acclaim, including the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival, an honor he has shared with Leonard Slatkin and Jahja Ling. He has also shared podium duties at the Texas Music Festival with such noted maestros as Christoph Eschenbach and Maxim Shostakovich. He has also led the Sphinx Symphony, the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, the Prince George’s Philharmonic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the CAMMAC Orchestra, the Vancouver Chamber Players, the All Northwest Orchestra, and the Washington, Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Alaska, Alabama, and North Dakota All State Orchestras. He served for many years as Music Director of the Houston Youth Symphony and Ballet, leading that orchestra on a two week concert tour of Holland, Germany and Austria.

Regarded as one of the leading cello teachers, his students hold prominent positions in major symphony orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony. The cellists of the Chiara, Pacifica, DuPonte, and Anderson String Quartets are also his former students. His students have fared well in National and International Competitions, including an Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, and the National ASTA Competition.

For more information, visit his website.