Prior to joining The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2002, violinist Elina Kalendarova played with the American Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, into a family of professional musicians, she discovered the enchanting sounds of The Philadelphia Orchestra in her childhood through listening to the Eugene Ormandy–era LP records from her parents’ collection.
Ms. Kalendarova began her formal music training at the age of seven. Her primary violin teachers were Nathan Mendelssohn at the Uspensky Music School for Gifted Children in Tashkent and Igor Bezrodny at the Moscow Conservatory. While pursuing her master’s and post-graduate degrees with Prof. Bezrodny, she was a finalist in the Michelangelo Abbado International Violin Competition in Italy, served as a concertmaster of the Ars Viva Orchestra in Moscow, and recorded chamber music for the French label Le Chant du Monde (Harmonia Mundi distribution). In the Conservatory’s student orchestra she played under the batons of Mstislav Rostropovich, Larry Rachleff, Pierre Boulez, and Zubin Mehta.
In 1994 Ms. Kalendarova followed her parents to their new home in Queens, New York. While living and performing on the East Coast in the mid-’90s, she was a recipient of the MetLife Foundation Music and Arts Award presented by the New York Association for New Americans.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Kalendarova has collaborated with Yefim Bronfman, Cynthia Raim, Victoria Ollas, Alexei Sultanov, Christophe Sirodeau, and about 40 of her colleagues in The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ms. Kalendarova has taught solo and ensemble master classes in Iceland, Lithuania, China, and the United States. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.
Photo by Jessica Griffin