There is something amazing that happens when cultures converge. There is surprise and enchantment, chaos and dispute, but in the end, there is always something new. That is where violinist Elinor Speirs likes to set up residence - at the cusp of the conversation.
The progeny of a viking and a celt, raised at the southern tip of Africa with baltic and jewish heritage, it was almost inevitable that Elinor would flee the constraints of the orchestra and join the fire and dance of improvised music. Versatility and flair for style have ensured her place in musical genres across the board.
Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London and an experienced orchestral and chamber music performer, Elinor has been crossing over to jazz and world music for several years. She has performed klezmer, yiddish, balkan, flamenco and jazz concerts and recorded on several albums in various parts of the world. In 2012 Elinor relocated to New York City in pursuit of a music education that only such a city can provide. She completed her master's in jazz performance at NYU under the tutelage of formidable jazz pianist, Kenny Werner. Inspired by the education she received, Elinor won a place in the prestigious doctorate of musical arts program at NEC, relocating once again to educational hub, Boston.
'For me the ultimate thing is not the language or the style...though that's important of course...but rather it's about getting to the heart of a thing...getting right into it and adding your own passion. Then you will carry an audience with you - and that place... where we're tracking together and moving as one...that's heaven...that's why I play the violin.'
For the more musically inclined:
Elinor studied classical violin with Noel Travers and Diana Cummings and received master classes from Anker Buch, Hu Kun, Lydia Mordkovitch and Siegmund Nissel among others. Elinor freelanced in the UK and France and performed with all the major ensembles in Cape Town as member, leader or soloist. While in New York, Elinor studied with Kenny Werner, frequently performing in venues in the west village and Brooklyn. Since her arrival in Boston Elinor has received instruction from John McNeil, Dominique Eade and pedagogue extraordinaire Jerry Bergonzi.