Elyse Dalabakis (b. 1990) is a multifaceted violist, performance scholar and arts advocate. Having been educated primarily in the USA, Ms Dalabakis began her performing career in Sarasota, Florida where she studied with members of the Sarasota Orchestra and participated in the Sarasota Youth Orchestra (SYO) programme from 1997 - 2009. While participating in SYO, she was Principal Violist for the Youth Philharmonic’s Carnegie Hall debut and was encouraged to pursue her passion for music performance at a professional level. She has since presented multiple solo recitals, recorded often as a studio and pit musician, and has performed with ensembles throughout the USA and New Zealand.
Since moving to NZ, Ms Dalabakis has enjoyed performing across the country with regional NZ orchestras and as guest artist for the RimuFest New Zealand, Adam Chamber Music Festival, and Chamber Music New Zealand Encompass Series. Currently, she performs as violist in the Harikoa Quartet – ensemble-in-residence at RimuFest – regularly with Orchestra Wellington and other regional orchestras around NZ, casually with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and finds the time to perform chamber music of all genres with Wellington musician friends.
In conjunction with her performance career and work with young musicians, Ms Dalabakis is a high-achieving and motivated performance scholar. Her PhD research falls under the umbrella of digital humanities and utilises digital tools to enhance and promote the legacy of Dimitris Dragatakis (1914 – 2001), an important Greek composer though lesser-known to other parts of the world, and his Concerto for Viola. Ms Dalabakis has co-presented at the National Music Education Association Conference in the USA, as well as Viola Convention in Gosford, Australia, and was an invited performer at the 45th International Viola Congress in Rotterdam. Most recently, she presented her PhD research at the 46th International Viola Congress in Poland and undertook an artist residency at the Greek Music Archives (Athens, Greece).
Soon after moving to New Zealand, she discovered her keen arts administrative and management skills and was appointed as Programme Coordinator for the New Zealand School of Music’s Young Musicians’ Programme. Since then, Ms Dalabakis has been pleased to be part of the 44th International Viola Congress as Congress Manager (2016-2018), NZ Ministry of Education’s Raroa Music Centre as Programme Supervisor (2017 - present), and New Zealand String Quartet as Marketing Administrator (2018 - present).
Her driven personality is also paired with a big heart and in her spare time Ms Dalabakis volunteers her performing and administrative skills to several non-profit organisations and events, such as Sinfonia for Hope’s Kristallnacht 80 years Remembrance Concert and Cello for Africa Concert.
Ms Dalabakis graduated with a Bachelor of Music in performance from The Florida State University (2014), and shortly thereafter relocated to Wellington, NZ to pursue a Master of Music degree in performance at the New Zealand School of Music at the Victoria University of Wellington (2015). Ms Dalabakis would like to recognise the following awards and organisations for their previous and continued support of her performance and research: FSU Foundation (2011 – 2014); Florida Bright Futures Medallion Scholarship (2011 – 2014); Free Masons Lankhuysen/Whetu Kairangi Music Award (2015); Barbara Finlayson Scholarship Foundation (2015 – 2020).