Greek-American violist Dr. Elyse Dalabakis (b. 1990) is a multifaceted musician, performance scholar, and arts advocate who has earned a distinguished reputation as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, creative director, and arts administrator throughout the USA and Australasia. Dr. Dalabakis records and performs often as a studio and pit musician, has presented multiple solo recitals in NZ and abroad, and plays regularly with orchestras and ensembles throughout New Zealand. She serves as violist and core member of the Harikoa Collective, artists-in-residence and founders of RimuFest Chamber Music Festival which is held in New Zealand and Mexico annually.
Dr. Dalabakis performs in chamber series, festivals, and music academies around the world, such as the biannual RimuFest Chamber Music Festival Concert Series, International Viola Congress, Chamber Music New Zealand Encompass Series, and the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival and enjoys collaborating with other artists and performers across varied mediums. Most recently, she presented her Ph.D. research at the 46th International Viola Congress in Poland and undertook a research residency at the Greek Music Archives (Athens, Greece). Dr. Dalabakis currently serves as Board Treasurer for the International Viola Society and as Committee Member and Webmaster for the Australian and New Zealand Viola Society.
Dr. Dalabakis is passionate about music education and arts management and enjoys finding ways to combine the two. Soon after moving to New Zealand, she was appointed as Programme Coordinator for the New Zealand School of Music’s Young Musicians’ Programme (2014 – 2016) and since then, Dr. Dalabakis has been pleased to be a Tutor and Teaching Assistant at Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand School of Music (2015 – present), part of the 44th International Viola Congress as Congress Manager (2016-2018), Programme Supervisor for Raroa Music Centre (2017 – present) an initiative through the New Zealand Ministry of Education which to 300+ families in the Greater Wellington Region, New Zealand String Quartet Trust office as their Marketing Administrator (2018 – present), Guest Lecturer for Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand School of Music (2019 – present), and Festival Manager for RimuFest Chamber Music Festival (2020 – present). Her enthusiastic and positive approach to her work and collaborations has garnered her a high level of respect within music education, performance, and administration spheres within NZ and abroad.
In conjunction with her performance career and work with young musicians, Dr. Dalabakis is a high-achieving and motivated performance scholar. Her Ph.D. research focused on digital humanities and how to advance and promote the legacy and works of lesser known composers, specifically in the case of Greek composer Dimitris Dragatakis and his Concerto for Viola (2020). Dr. Dalabakis has co-presented at the National Music Education Association Conference in the USA, as well as Viola Convention in Gosford, Australia, has performed and co-presented at International Viola Congresses annually since 2017, presented her Ph.D. research at the 46th International Viola Congress in Poland, and undertook an artist residency at the Greek Music Archives (Athens, Greece).
Her drive and determination is equally matched by her compassionate and giving nature and in her spare time Dr. Dalabakis volunteers her performing, administrative, and tech-savvy skills and expertise to several non-profit organisations and events, such as Sinfonia for Hope’s Kristallnacht 80 years Remembrance Concert (2018 – 2020) and Cello for Africa Concert (2019), the New Zealand International Young Artists Festival (2018 – 2019), American Viola Society Festival Proposal Selection Committee (2019 – 2020), the Australia New Zealand Viola Society’s website rebrand (2020), among others.
Dr. 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 (2015) and later a Ph.D in Music (2020) at the New Zealand School of Music at the Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. 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); Victoria University Joint Research Committee Grant (2016 – 2020); Barbara Finlayson Scholarship Foundation (2015 – 2020).