Chicago-based violinist Eleanor Bartsch is Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet. As a principal player of the Chicago Philharmonic/Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Bartsch frequently serves as Concertmaster, Associate Concertmaster, and Principal Second Violin. She is a founding member and Marketing Director of Madison, Wisconsin’s Willy Street Chamber Players, through with she maintains her passion for chamber music and community.
As a soloist, Bartsch has recently performed with the Chicago Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, and Dubuque Symphony. She acts as a regular substitute with the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Grant Park Festival Orchestra. While completing her schooling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she was a tenured member of both the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (5 seasons) and the Madison Symphony Orchestra (8 seasons).
A champion of new music, Bartsch has performed with the Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet, and multiple Grammy-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird. Next season, she looks forward to premiering new works by Steven Snowden and Laura Elise Schwendinger. Outside of the classical world, she has, along with the rest of the Kontras Quartet, enjoyed an ongoing collaboration with the popular bluegrass band, the Kruger Brothers.
In 2015, Bartsch completed her Master’s degree as a Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There, she studied violin with David Perry and Felicia Moye and concurrently earned a graduate certificate in Entrepreneurship from the school of business. Bartsch also holds a bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison during which time she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School studying with Paul Kantor.
A dedicated teacher who maintains a studio of private students, Eleanor is on the faculty of the Barrington Music Academy. As a member of the Kontras Quartet, she is an artist in residence and chamber music instructor at Western Michigan University and frequently serves as a guest clinician at institutions throughout the United States.
Eleanor began her violin studies at the age of 4 in St. Paul, MN with Ellen Kim at the Northern Lights Suzuki School for Strings. While in high school, she continued her studies with University of Minnesota professor Young-Nam Kim. Raised in a family of musicians in the Twin Cities, Eleanor’s parents, Tom and Julia Bartsch, are a professional pianist and violinist, respectively. Her younger sister, Alice, is a violinist in the Sydney, Australia Symphony. Her uncle, Jim Bartsch, is a violinist, violist, and conductor in the Minneapolis area.