A native of Hamden, CT, violinist Elizabeth “Libby” Phelps is active as both an orchestral and chamber musician in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has performed as Principal Second Violin of the North Carolina Symphony since 2013 and joined the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in 2014. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Libby played for four years as a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas. There she often performed as concertmaster and was featured in many different chamber music performances. She had the opportunity to collaborate with Christian Tetzlaff in a performance of Brahms’ Viola Quintet in G Major and also joined Paula Robison in a centennial celebratory performance of Schoenberg’sPierrot Lunaire.
Libby has played in masterclasses for a variety of renowned artists including Jorja Fleezanis, Pamela Frank, Jordi Savall, and Cynthia Roberts. A lover of baroque performance, she has participated in both the summer and winter institutes put on by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, Ontario. Other festivals she has attended include the Aspen, Round Top, Lucerne, Spoleto, and Verbier Festivals and she has held positions with the Grant Park Orchestra of Chicago, the Breckenridge Music Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra.
Libby received her bachelors and masters degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Paul Kantor and Stephen Rose. While studying in Cleveland, she was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra under Gerhardt Zimmerman for five years, acting as Principal Second Violin during the 2009-2010 season. Always interested in contemporary music, she performed often with CIM’s New Music Ensemble and joined with her composer colleagues to form the FiveOne Experimental Orchestra in 2008.
Her other musical interests lead her to learn the electric bass, playing in a jazz quartet in high school and later in a cover band in Miami. She is passionate about body awareness, practicing Pilates on a regular basis, and enjoys a good cup of coffee and visiting art museums wherever she travels.