Ms. Elizabeth Blake

Orchestra Director

Elizabeth Blake is a Pasadena native who began her violin studies at the age of three. She earned a Bachelor of Music Performance in violin from Northwestern University in 1989, and moved to Tennessee, where she served as Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras for seven years. During that time, Ms. Blake appeared twice as the featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra, as well as in frequent performances for the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Music Series and on local radio broadcasts.

In 1997, Ms. Blake and her husband, David, returned to Pasadena, where she pursued a freelance performance career. In 1998 she was invited to participate in the Michael Crawford “Phantom of the Opera” National Tour as Assistant Principal Second Violin. Ms. Blake has performed locally with the Glendale and New West Symphonies; in addition, she has served as Principal Second Violin in the Riverside and Antelope Valley Orchestras, as well as Concertmaster for the West Coast Chamber Orchestra and the “Concertos With Orchestra Thousand Oaks” (CWOTO) program. In 2005 she appeared as guest soloist with the West Coast Chamber Orchestra, and in 2006 gave the United States premiere of a newly revived triple concerto by Mozart with the Crown City Chamber Players. Currently Ms. Blake is a regular member of the California Philharmonic Orchestra’s Disney Hall Concert Series, for the 2006-7 season serving as Acting Principal Second Violin. Her performances can also be heard on soundtracks for Warner Brothers, Sony and Castle Rock Entertainment, and in recitals throughout Southern California with the Avanti Quartet. Avanti holds the Quartet in Residence title at Clemson University, and in 2005 released the first in a series of recordings featuring the string quartets of George Whitefield Chadwick.

Ms. Blake began her teaching career in 1981 at the age of 15, when she began giving private violin and viola instruction. While with the Knoxville Symphony, she was an active member of the KSO Youth Education and Outreach Program, bringing classical music into the Knox County public schools. Since then, she has obtained her teaching credential, and has acted as guest director for the Arrowbear Music Camp Elementary String Session and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra. She is an ensemble coach with the Ventura County Youth Chamber Music Program, and in 2001 founded the String Orchestra Program at Los Cerritos Middle School in Thousand Oaks. The LCMS Advanced Orchestra currently holds an unbroken record of Superior ratings from more than a dozen festival performances over the past six years.