Senior Lecturer in violin, Head of Strings and Head of Classical Performance at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, Elizabeth Layton studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Elisabeth Perry and Pauline Scott. At the age of twelve, Elizabeth was invited to join Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin in a chamber music concert to celebrate the latter’s Golden Jubilee, broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall, London. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School, New York with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki, going on to win the Young Concert Artists Trust Competition.
Elizabeth made her UK concerto debut with the Philharmonia, and has appeared as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Bournemouth Symphony, English Sinfonia, Calgary Philharmonic, City of Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony and many others. Festival appearances include Bath, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Valencia, Gstaad and numerous music societies.
She has toured worldwide with the Nash Ensemble and Trio Zingara, and CD recordings include the complete Beethoven piano trios (nominated for a Gramophone Award) and violin and piano works by Schubert (Daily Telegraph ‘CD Choice’). Other recordings include chamber music by Ravel, Schubert, Brahms, Fauré and Shostakovich for DG, Hyperion, Naxos, BIS and Chandos.
Elizabeth was Associate Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Concertmaster of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1998-2010). She has broadcast regularly for the BBC as soloist and director and appeared as guest director of the Scottish Ensemble, Manchester Camerata and Ambache Ensemble. Numerous performances of contemporary solo violin music include a critically acclaimed CD of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Scena’ with the BBC SSO under Ilan Volkov.
Elizabeth moved to Australia in 2010 and is a guest concertmaster with orchestras in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmania, Auckland and Wellington. She has toured chamber music with ensembles including Selby&Friends, the Australian String Quartet, Flinders String Quartet and Australia Piano Quartet and broadcast for the ABC in recital for Sunday Live and as soloist in Raymond Hanson’s Violin Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
In 2018 she performed with Ensemble Q at the George Town Festival, Penang and gave concerts at the Coriole Festival, Coramba Festival and Music by the Springs. In addition to re-invitations to these festivals, Elizabeth performs in 2019 at the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra concert series and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, as well as appearing regularly in the University of Adelaide Concert Series at Elder Hall.
Elizabeth has taught in London at the Guidhall School Junior Department and at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Glasgow. She continued her wider commitment to music education tutoring at the 2018 Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Course and mentoring students and leading the orchestra as part of the Griffith University/Ensemble Q/Lisa Gasteen Opera School performance of Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos, conducted by Simone Young. In 2019, her schedule includes masterclasses and performances at the University of Queensland.
In addition to her teaching commitments at the University of Adelaide, Elizabeth directs the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, giving concerts with students in venues around South Australia.