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Strings at Southern Music Festival

2024 Strings at Southern Chamber Music Festival

Dr. Steven Elisha and Dr. Larisa Elisha

Georgia Southern University’s Strings at Southern Chamber Music Festival, for high school and university students, will be held February 15 -18, 2024, on the Georgia Southern University – Statesboro campus. This four-day festival includes string master classes, chamber ensemble coaching, workshops, chamber/symphony orchestra rehearsals, and student performances. String players have the opportunity to study with the internationally acclaimed Elaris Duo (Dr. Larisa Elisha, violin and Dr. Steven Elisha, cello), directors of the festival and faculty members at Georgia Southern University. Pre-formed groups as well as individual applicants are encouraged to apply.


February 15: Festival Gala Chamber Music Recital
Carol A. Carter Recital Hall (Statesboro Campus)

February 16: Festival Orchestra Concert
Performing Arts Center (Statesboro Campus)


  • open to high school string chamber groups (quartets, string trios, etc.)
  •  1st round – video recording submission (deadline – January 05, 2024)

Please submit a single movement of a string chamber work electronically as a mp4 or YouTube to:

  • Final round – in person (Saturday, February 17, 2024)
  • Winners: perform in Festival Gala Chamber Concert and other venues during the year, cash prize and special $1000.00 scholarship for seniors who will attend Georgia Southern Gretsch School of Music as Music Majors


Application fee: $25.00
Checks made out to “Georgia Southern University – memo: Strings at Southern”
Please mail all checks to P.O. Box 8052 • Statesboro, GA 30460

Meals: $50

$10 per meal (5) at the Commons Dining (Statesboro Campus)

Lodging Information

            Reservations are under “Georgia Southern Symphony”

Hampton Inn Statesboro
$129 special discount for the Festival 

Dr. Larisa Elisha
LARISA ELISHA, violinist

Russian-American violinist, Larisa Elisha, is an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, having performed and taught extensively throughout Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Taiwan, Lithuania, Israel and the United States. Dr. Elisha was the Concertmaster of the Witold Lutoslawski State Philharmonic, Principal Violinist of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director and First Violinist of the Wratislavia String Quartet. She was Professor of Violin, Chamber Music and Pedagogy at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. Dr. Elisha has performed recitals at prestigious European chamber music festivals that include International Festival Wratislavia Cantans and Contemporary Music Festival Musica Polonica Nova in Wroclaw, Poland, Draeseke’s Festival in Germany, Gioventi Musicale d’Italia in Bergamo, Wieniawski Festival in Poland and the Mozart Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has performed at the Concertgebouw, Warsaw National Philharmonic and Karajan Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, and has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings. Her solo performances of the Shostakovich Violin concerto with the Wroclaw and Koszalin Symphony Orchestras as well as solo recitals in Krakow and at the Wieniawski Festival in Szczawno Zdroj (Poland) drew critical acclaim. Dr. Elisha was Violin Artist-in-Residence at Washburn University and Concertmaster of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. As Concertmaster of the Wichita Grand Opera, she performed featured solos with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato. Dr. Elisha is heard regularly in solo and chamber music performances, including Summit, Sunflower and other national and international music festivals. She is the Violinist and Co-founder of the Elaris Duo with Cellist, Steven Elisha. The Duo performs extensively nationally and internationally. As winners of the prestigious Global Music Award, in the Duo and New Release Categories, the Elaris Duo’s 2018 MSR-Classics release, DUO VIRTUOSO IIWorks for Violin and Cello – Honegger, Ravel, Schulhoff has received acclaim and was featured in Fanfare, Gramophone, American Record Guide as well as other noted music publications. The Duo’s MSR-Classics re-release, DUO VIRTUOSO, won a 2020 Global Music Award and received critical acclaim from Fanfare Magazine, Atlanta Audio Society, American Record Guide, Malcolm Tattersall’s “Music & Vision,” Turok’s Choice and BBC Music. As a master teacher, Dr. Elisha maintains a very successful studio. Many of her students won national/international competitions, have graduated from major Music Schools and Conservatories and have successful performing and teaching careers. Dr. Elisha is the author of Advanced Scale Studies for Violin and Advanced Scale Studies for Viola. As a performer-clinician, she frequently presents performances, lectures and Master Classes at national and international music festivals, conferences and universities, including the Jerusalem Academy of Music, University of Haifa, Summit Music Festival, Charleston International Music School Summer Festival, Washington Square Music

Festivals, Lithuania Music and Theatre Academy, National Taiwan University of the Arts, American String Teachers Association, Georgia Music Educators Association and College Music Society. Dr. Elisha belongs to numerous professional and honors organizations and has been the recipient of many awards, including
the 2008 Kansas Governor’s Arts Award, the Kansas Federation of Music Club’s Musicians of the Year Award, a Chamber Music America Residency Grant, Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary Life-Time Membership to Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI). Continuing the tradition of Russian violinist David Oistrakh and Yuri Yankelevich, she holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Belarus State Academy of Music in Minsk, where she was a student and Teaching Assistant of Professor Olga Parkhomienko, one of Oistrakh’s noted protégés. Larisa Elisha earned her Doctorate degree at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw. Currently, she is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Upper String Studies at Georgia Southern University Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music.

“Elisha left the audience slack-jawed in awe with her tour-de-force playing of the cadenza … It was heartbreakingly poignant and profound… The ovation that followed was as long and as enthusiastic as any I can recall in White Concert Hall….”
      Topeka Capital-Journal On her performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1

“Elisha’s playing was a dazzling display of virtuosic fingering…”
      Lawrence Journal-World

“Extraordinary violinist”
      Eleonore Schoenfeld


Internationally acclaimed cellist, Steven Elisha, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Norway, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel and the United States. He first attracted attention at the age of fifteen when he gave solo performances with the Albany and Schenectady (New York) Symphonies. Elisha’s New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and premiere performance of Cry of the Dove (a cello
concerto written by his sister, Adrienne Elisha) received critical acclaim. As an honorary member and returned guest of the Beijing Cello Society, he has extensively toured mainland China, performing recitals and teaching master classes at the Shanghai, Canton, Xian, Jinan and Beijing conservatories. Featured solo appearances have included the Beijing Central Philharmonic and Symphonies of Beijing, Xian, Jinan, and Canton,
Toledo Symphony, Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Highland Park Strings. Formerly, Director of String Studies at Washburn University, Principal Cellist of the Topeka Symphony, and Conductor of the Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra, Elisha was also the Artistic Director/ Conductor of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Elisha regularly gives master classes, workshops and residencies throughout the United States, including his fun-loving and innovative “Mr. Cello Stories” program for audiences of all ages. Elisha frequently presents workshops, teaches and performs at national and international festivals, conferences and summer music programs, including the Summit Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Washington Square Music Festival, Charleston International Music School, Omaha Conservatory Summer Institute, College Music Society and American String Teachers National Conference. Elisha is the Regional Representative of the American String Teachers Association Georgia Chapter. Elisha is co-founder and cellist of the Elaris Duo, with violinist Larisa Elisha. As a recording artist, Elisha is heard on a Grammy-nominated Musical Heritage Society recording of New England piano trios, Yale Cellos of Aldo Parisot on Delos and Duo Virtuoso on MSR-Classics. Just released at MSR-Classics, DUO VIRTUOSO II – Works for Violin and Cello by Honegger, Ravel and Schulhoff, has received high praise in reviews appearing in Fanfare Magazine, Gramophone American Record Guide and other leading music publications. Elisha was featured in Fanfare Magazine, and winner of the Global Music Awards for DUO VIRTUOSO and DUO VIRTUOSO II. Currently, Dr. Elisha is Professor of Music, Strings Area Head and Director of Orchestras at Georgia Southern University Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music.

“in the front ranks of his generation’s musicians”
     Janos Starker

“above all else, Elisha’s playing is the voice of candor. It is honest and enthusiastic. He courageously takes chances, decidedly unwilling to hide behind conventional musical gestures”
     The New Haven Register

“a flexibly nuanced, burnished tone… Lightning-swift left hand and deft bow arm”
     New York Concert Review


For more information about the program and registration, please contact Dr. Steven Elisha at

Last updated: 2/22/2024