When and where was your first concert with the MCO?
My first concert was in January 2017 on the Canary Islands.
What is the best thing about being a musician?
Many things! Most importantly that it evolves around music. I feel lucky to have something so beautiful and personal with which I can fully express myself and that moves other people too. It's a “job” that never gets boring: it's always different and always challenging.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
For me that is definitely to be self-critical without being too hard on myself. To constantly focus on what is “not good enough” without losing the trust in myself.
The first piece of music you fell in love with:
Schubert string quintet, after hearing it for the first time live in a concert. I was obsessed with it for weeks and it's still one of my favourite pieces.
What would you do if you weren't a musician?
I would probably try to find a way to help musicians, especially students, with the mental aspect of the job. Learning how to learn, how to practise, how to deal with stress and perform at your best; I think there's not enough attention for these kinds of things in schools and it could help many people.
I would also love to be a Buddhist monk for a while!
Born in the Netherlands in December 1992, Elvira van Groningen started playing the violin at the age of six. After studying at the conservatories of Zwolle (with Sylvia van der Grinten) and Amsterdam (with Lex Korff de Gidts), she moved to Berlin in 2012 to study with Prof. Stephan Picard at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in the summer of 2017.
Elvira has won several prizes in national and international competitions, including First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Prinses Christina Concours in the Hague and Second Prize at the International Queen Sophie Charlotte Competition for Violin in Germany.
As a passionate chamber musician, Elvira has performed with musicians such as Colin Carr, Jens Peter Maintz, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Pascal Devoyon, Alexander Lonquich and Maria Graf. She has participated in many chamber music programmes, such as the Seiji Ozawa International Academy, and holds a scholarship from the Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz Foundation. Elvira has also participated in masterclasses with Ivry Gitlis, Donald Weilerstein, David Takeno, Gerhard Schulz, Haim Taub, Philippe Graffin et al.
Elvira has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands and Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot.
She is passionate about teaching and has worked as an assistant for Prof. Stephan Picard. As of October 2017 she will have a teaching position at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”.