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's 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’d love to be a top athlete or neuroscientist ...
More realistically though, in this life, I would do more of the things I am doing already. I’d still try to help musicians to reach their full potential and prevent injuries, something I’m working towards at the moment. I can also imagine doing something else related to health and sustainability.
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 and Amsterdam, 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 held 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 among others.
She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, and Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot.
Elvira was previously an Associate Member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for the 2017/18 season, and has also worked with other ensembles including the Camerata Bern.
She is passionate about teaching and has held teaching positions at both the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” and the CPE Bach Gymnasium in Berlin.
After facing challenges with focal dystonia, Elvira began to become interested in musicians' health and the mind-body connection. She is undertaking therapy at the Institut de Fisiologia i Medicina de l’Art-Terrassa (Spain), a pioneering centre in medical attention for musicians and other stage artists. Her wish is to help other musicians to prevent and recover from injuries and reach their full potential. To this end, she is completing her training with musician’s coach Pete Josephs in Berlin and is a student at the Musician’s Health and Movement Institute in Oslo, Norway, where she is learning Timani, a method that focuses on the physiological aspects of playing and singing.
Elvira is also the international coordinator of Musethica, an education method for young talented musicians with social impact that is active in 10 countries.