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 – she paints what she hears and plays what she sees. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and a Master’s then Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. Early experiences as an orchestral musician beginning as a student in the Sydney Youth Orchestra before professional engagements with the numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the 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 woodwind instruments, primarily clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone, as well as composition and improvisation.
Since arriving in Vienna in 2015 Kelvin has performed with the Vienna Improvisers Orchestra, participated in the St Ruprechts New Music Series, exhibited at small and large galleries (Galerie Contemplor and Reinlgalerie), and formed her group Gentle Enquiry that explores her ideas on new ways to prepare multidisciplinary performances.
Most recently, she was invited to play at the Währinger Improv Festival (Vienna), Frühlingsfest at Galerie Alma Kulturcafe (Vienna), and the V:NM Festival Graz/Vol.12 (Graz). In May, Elisabeth accepted an invitation to collaborate in a social media project with the international arts organization REACT(Melbourne). Elisabeth launched her professional visual arts practice in 2000, and since then has staged solo exhibitions and participated in collaborative shows in Australia and Austria. She became an active member of the One+2 Artist Studios, Sydney in 2009. Her visual arts work, mostly abstract, encompasses a range of media including oil, watercolor, pastel, ink and mixed media. She regularly exhibits her art at various Viennese galleries and festivals. Recent 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, Reinl Galerie, and Historisches Volksmuseum (Konstante Art Fair) (Vienna). Her visual arts exhibitions always include related performance elements.
By being now based in the city of her grandparents, she is rediscovering her own cultural heritage. 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 Gentle Enquiry – performs throughout Europe as a soloist and with Ozmosis, Vienna Improvisors Orchestra, Free Form-Just Music, Stolen Moments, and Trio Amacord+.