Chicago-based violinist Eleanor Bartsch is Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet. As a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic/Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Eleanor frequently serves as Concertmaster, Associate Concertmaster, and Principal Second Violin. A founding member and Marketing Director of Madison, Wisconsin's Willy Street Chamber Players, she concertizes throughout Wisconsin and maintains a passion for chamber music and community.
Ms. Bartsch regularly appears with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, and various Broadway shows. Recently, she joined the roster of The Chicago Ensemble--a chamber group which recently celebrated its 40th season. She acts as a regular substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Grant Park Festival Orchestra. While completing her schooling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she was a tenured member of both the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (5 seasons) and the Madison Symphony Orchestra (8 seasons).
A champion of new music, Ms. Bartsch has performed with Present Music, the Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet, and multiple Grammy-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird.
Eleanor began her violin studies at the age of 4 in St. Paul, MN with Ellen Kim at the Northern Lights Suzuki School for Strings. While in high school, she continued her studies with University of Minnesota professor Young-Nam Kim. Raised in a family of musicians in the Twin Cities, Eleanor's parents, Tom and Julia Bartsch, are a professional pianist and violinist, respectively. Her younger sister, Alice, is a violinist in the Sydney, Australia Symphony. Her uncle, Jim Bartsch, is a violinist, violist, and conductor in the Minneapolis area.
In 2015, Eleanor completed her Masters Degree as a Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. She studied with David Perry and Felicia Moye and concurrently earned a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the School of Business. She also holds a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison during which time she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School studying with Paul Kantor.
A dedicated teacher who maintains a studio of private students, Eleanor is on the faculty of the Barrington Music Academy and the UW Madison Summer Music Clinic. As a member of the Kontras Quartet, she is an artist in residence at Western Michigan University and frequently serves as a guest clinician at institutions throughout the midwest.
The YouTube video that stars Eleanor, "Elephants Dancing to Violin" went viral in 2014 and appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and other national news outlets. It currently has over 3 million views. See "Media" page for more information.