Elise Frawley enjoys playing viola in a variety of venues, from Carnegie Hall to Rockwood Music Hall. She has performed with such ensembles as the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Ensemble LPR, Wordless Music Orchestra, Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, MetroChamber Orchestra, Ensemble Mise-en, among many other groups. She serves as both principal viola and board member of the Chelsea Symphony, a self-governed orchestra in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Her concert engagements have brought her across the United States as both a chamber and orchestral musician.
In the pop and contemporary realm, Elise has performed with such artists as Paul Simon, Danger Mouse, Sam Cohen, Alessia Cara, Andrew Bird, Julia Michaels, Meghan Trainor, Olafur Arnalds, Pink Martini, Grace McLean, Santino Fontana, Nathan Gunn, Sweet Electra, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Falls, Landlady, Aerial East, Cassandra Jenkins, and the Airborne Toxic Event. She has performed at the Beacon Theatre, Joe's Pub, New York's Town Hall, Central Park SummerStage, the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and SXSW. Elise performed alongside avant garde composer Tony Conrad and Velvet Underground member John Cale at the opening of the new Whitney Museum as a soundtrack to Andy Warhol's film, Empire.
Elise has contributed to several recordings for bands, record labels, and independent artists in the New York area. Some recent projects include accompanying Beck, Sharon Van Etten, Sam Cohen, James Mercer of The Shins, and others on Resistance Radio, an album companion to Amazon Prime's The Man in the High Castle, produced by Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen (30th Century Records); the String Orchestra of Brooklyn's debut album, afterimage; Mimesis Ensemble with Mohammed Fairuz, Sumeida's Song (Bridge Records); Atomic Tom, The Moment (Universal Republic); Drowners, Drowners (Frenchkiss Records); Jordan Knight, The Fix and Love Songs (Interscope); and Motel Motel, New Denver (The Rebel Group). Television appearances include Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, America's Got Talent, The History Channel's Stan Lee's Superhumans, and Amazon Prime's Mozart in the Jungle.
Elise is a passionate teacher and advocate for arts education. She is a Teaching Artist with the Midori & Friends organization and holds a faculty position at the 92Y School of Music, in addition to maintaining a private viola/violin studio. Her students range from pre-school age through adulthood, of varying levels and musical backgrounds. Elise believes that music lessons should be tailored to the individual student, and can help foster discipline, focus, creativity, and an appreciation for the arts.
Born in Westchester County, New York, Elise received her Bachelor's of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Karen Dreyfus and her Master's of Music from New York University under the tutelage of Karen Ritscher, where she also served as Adjunct Instructor of Viola. Elise has been the recipient of several awards, including the Lucie Bigelow-Rosen Scholarship given by the Caramoor Center for the Arts, the Manhattan School of Music Merit Scholarship, New York University Talent Scholarship, and the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition Award.