Maintaining a diverse practice in music performance and visual arts Elisabeth Kelvin energetically and enthusiastically paints what she hears and plays what she sees. Her journey is wholly interdisciplinary as she creates multiple artistic paths as a clarinet and saxophone teacher, performer, composer, and visual artist.
Elisabeth Kelvin’s creative practice blends the visual with the aural. Growing up with a large family of musicians and artists, interest in the correspondences between disciplines seemed natural and she was first in class in both music and art at his school. Elisabeth received a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and her Masters then her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. Early experiences as an orchestral musician beginning as a student in the Sydney Youth Orchestra leading to professional engagements with the numerous orchestras and ensembles including Willoughby Symphony, Mosman Musical Society, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Lansing Symphony Orchestra, alerted Elisabeth to the importance of precise communication and potential of the collective in music-making. Her extensive chamber music experience from classical standards by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms through to twentieth-century composers including Stravinsky, Messiaen, Sculthorpe, and Boulez, awakened in her a sense of exquisite balance and refinement that has carried on into her contemporary performances. As a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, and later in the Tamworth Conservatorium of Music in regional Australia and working with contemporary Indigenous artists, she was introduced to the role and meaning of place in social connectivity, improvisation, symbolic and abstract art, and movement in live performance.
Elisabeth performs professionally in the USA, Europe, and Australia, presenting her own compositions, collaborations, and jazz greats. Her musical practice centers around contemporary music on woodwind instruments, primarily clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone, as well as composition and improvisation. Creative activities have led her to numerous conferences, masterclasses, workshops and retreats in Australia, USA, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, France, Italy Germany, and Austria.
Recently, she was invited to perform in St Ruprecht’s New Music Series, Währinger Improv Festival (Vienna), Frühlingsfest at Galerie Alma Kulturcafe (Vienna), V:NM Festival Graz/Vol.12 (Graz), COOK, EAT and CLEAN/Smoke and Mirrors Saloon Festival, Viennese premiere of Breathcore in collaboration with the Belgium-based new music ensemble Ictus at Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), and ISOS Spirals Concert Series (Amsterdam), Hear me Roar Women’s Festival (Vienna), Grotto Futura (Vienna), and Lärm Music Festival (Vienna)
In 2019 – 2020 Elisabeth took part in collaborative social media projects with the international arts organization REACT (Melbourne), Raw Matters (Vienna), MAF (Cork), Valek (Vienna), and Kunstbetrieb (Vienna).
Elisabeth launched her professional visual arts practice in 2000, and since then has staged solo exhibitions and participated in collaborative shows in Australia, USA, and Austria. She became an active member of the One+2 Artist Gallery and Studios, Sydney in 2009. Her visual art work, abstractions of body movement and music, encompasses a range of media including oil, watercolor, pastel, ink and mixed media. She regularly exhibits at various Viennese galleries and festivals. Career highlights include a well-received solo exhibition, Harbour City Tones and Colours, at Salerno Gallery (Sydney), and a series of solo and group shows in Contemplor Galerie (Vienna), Reinlgalerie (Vienna), and Historisches Volksmuseum Konstante Art Fair (Vienna). Of special note is that her visual arts exhibitions include related performance elements.
By being now based in the city of her grandparents, she is rediscovering her own cultural heritage. Having taken piano lessons from her great-grandmother and professional pianist, makes Elisabeth “a pupil, of a pupil, of a pupil, of a pupil of Beethoven.” From upper-story Vienna windows, she imagines she hears long-forgotten snippets of song and conversation or dampened piano chords still crisscrossing the streets and years. Elisabeth currently teaches music, art, and dance to children of all ages and – along with being a founding member of both The Music Movement Project and Gentle Enquiry – performs throughout Europe as a soloist and with Ozmosis, Vienna Improvisors Orchestra, Free Form-Just Music, Stolen Moments, and Trio Amacord+.
During the SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as COVID-19) pandemic, Elisabeth initiated the Monday Night C19 Improv Sessions and Art in the Age of Isolation, both online multimedia improvisation projects that explore ideas on new ways to prepare multidisciplinary performances.
© 2021 Elisabeth Kelvin