Chicago-based violinist Eleanor Bartsch enjoys a diverse and vibrant career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, soloist, educator, and entrepreneur at home in many musical styles. She is currently Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet, a touring classical string quartet with an interest in exploring the intersections of classical and folk music. She has served as Concertmaster of the Chicago Philharmonic, Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, and Chicago Opera Theater Orchestra, and is Co-Founder of Madison, Wisconsin’s Willy Street Chamber Players, an award-winning chamber ensemble with an emphasis on creating community through classical music. Bartsch is a frequent extra musician in the pit and on stage at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Bartsch has collaborated with an extensive list of ensembles and artists with highlights including Eighth Blackbird, the Spektral Quartet, the Knights, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, Ben Folds, Josh Groban, and Andrea Bocelli. Along with the rest of the Kontras Quartet, she regularly joins forces with the well-known bluegrass trio, the Kruger Brothers. A champion of new music, Bartsch has recently premiered works by Steven Snowden, Amy Wurtz, and Laura Elise Schwendinger.
Bartsch began her violin studies in her hometown of St. Paul MN at the Northern Lights Suzuki School for Strings. She received her Masters’ degree in Violin Performance with a certificate in Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the tutelage of David Perry. Passionate about music education, she is currently on the faculty of the Barrington Music Academy and a frequent guest clinician at learning institutions throughout the United States.