Désirée Elsevier, viola
A New York native, Désirée Elsevier began her studies at the age of 5 on the violin and at the age of 12 on the viola, and she has been a regular member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1987.
In October 2013, she performed the Bartok concerto for viola with the Greeley Philharmonic in Greeley, Colorado. A champion of new music, she premiered Glen Cortese's Viola Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra in Buffalo, NY in February, 2013. An avid chamber musician, she appears frequently in the New York area among others with her quartet named IRIS, and at Weill recital hall at Carnegie Hall with the MET Chamber players. In addition, she teaches at Bennington College at the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East in Vermont since 2004. Since 1998 she has been a member of the World Orchestra for Peace (founded by Sir Georg Solti, now conducted by Valery Gergiev), which performs concerts in the name of world peace and harmony across the world, from Chicago all the way east to Beijing. Also a busy recording artist, she can be heard on many CDs and films. Her first job was as Assistant Principal Viola in the Orchestra di San Carlo in Naples, Italy.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cornell University (where she also studied composition with Karl Husa and Stephen Stucky) and Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Lillian Fuchs and Karen Tuttle.
In addition to being a full-time member of the orchestra, from 2001 to 2012 she held the additional position of Assistant Orchestra Manager. In her spare time she reads, writes essays and fiction, knits, swims/bikes/runs, gardens and is working on an animated film.