Elise Frawley enjoys playing viola in a variety of venues, from Carnegie Hall to Rockwood Music Hall. She has performed with such ensembles as the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Ensemble LPR, Wordless Music Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, MetroChamber Orchestra, Ensemble Mise-en, among several ensembles throughout the New York area. Formerly, she served as principal viola and board member of the Chelsea Symphony, a self-governed orchestra in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Elise performs in a duo with acclaimed Portuguese pianist Nuno da Silva Marques, commissioning pieces for viola and piano as well as highlighting works by underrepresented composers. She is currently an Executive Board member of Local 802, the New York metro-area union for musicians and the largest chapter of the American Federation of Musicians.
In pop and contemporary music, Elise has performed with Paul Simon, St. Vincent, Danger Mouse, Alessia Cara, Julia Michaels, Jon Batiste, Kygo, Halsey, Meghan Trainor, Andrew Bird, Pharaohe Monch, Jacky Cheung, Olafur Arnalds, Sam Cohen, Kelis, Shallou, Pink Martini, Shoshana Bean, Cynthia Erivo, Grace McLean, Santino Fontana, Nathan Gunn, Matthew E. White, Sweet Electra, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Falls, Landlady, Aerial East, Cassandra Jenkins, and the Airborne Toxic Event. She has performed at the Beacon Theatre, Joe's Pub, New York's Town Hall, The Apollo Theater, Central Park SummerStage, the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and SXSW. Elise performed alongside avant garde composer Tony Conrad and Velvet Underground member John Cale at the opening of the downtown Whitney Museum for the soundtrack to Andy Warhol's film, Empire.
Elise has appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NPR's Live From Here!, America's Got Talent, The History Channel's Stan Lee's Superhumans, and Amazon Prime's Mozart in the Jungle. She also enjoys recordings for bands, record labels, and independent artists. She regularly records for artists through Likeminds and Mason Jar Music. Some recent projects include recording for Jon Batiste's album Hollywood Africans; accompanying Beck, Sharon Van Etten, Sam Cohen, James Mercer of The Shins, and others on Resistance Radio, an album companion to Amazon Prime's The Man in the High Castle, produced by Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen (30th Century Records); a Spotify Live session for Shallou; the String Orchestra of Brooklyn's debut album, afterimage; Mimesis Ensemble with Mohammed Fairuz, Sumeida's Song (Bridge Records); Atomic Tom, The Moment (Universal Republic); Drowners, Drowners (Frenchkiss Records); Jordan Knight, The Fix and Love Songs (Interscope); and Motel Motel, New Denver (The Rebel Group).
Elise is a passionate teacher and advocate for arts education. She is a Teaching Artist with the Midori & Friends organization and holds a faculty position at the 92Y School of Music, in addition to maintaining a private viola studio. Her students range from pre-school age through adulthood, of varying levels and musical backgrounds. Elise believes that music lessons should be tailored to the individual student, and can help foster discipline, focus, creativity, and an appreciation for the arts.
Born in Westchester County, New York, Elise received her Bachelor's of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and her Master's of Music from New York University, where she also served as Adjunct Instructor of Viola. Elise has been the recipient of several awards, including the Lucie Bigelow-Rosen Scholarship given by the Caramoor Center for the Arts, the Manhattan School of Music Merit Scholarship, New York University Talent Scholarship, and the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition Award.