Elizabeth Richards is a performing cellist and consummate teacher. As an active performer in the Washington D.C. area, Dr. Richards has played with the Annapolis Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, National Philharmonic, Alexandria Symphony, the National Gallery Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players, as well as the Annapolis Chamber Players, District Chamber Players, and the Great Noise Ensemble. Prior to living in D.C., she was also a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony, and Louisiana Sinfonietta. Dr. Richards has performed on concert stages around the country, including the Kennedy Center, Baltimore Lyric, Lincoln Center, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts center, as well as numerous other venues across the U.S., Canada, and Italy. Currently, Dr. Richards is the acting Co-Artistic Director of the Annapolis Chamber Music Project, a week-long festival for high school and amatuer musicians alike, which will bring performances, masterclasses, and chamber music coachings to the Annapolis Arts District. ACMP is set to launch in July 2015. She is also the Executive Director of the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia.
Dr. Richards has has participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the International Festival at Round Top, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, the Heber Springs Music Festival, the Academie at Le Domaine Forget, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. She was a prizewinner in the LSU Concerto Competition and a finalist in the University of Maryland Concerto Competition.
In 2012, she completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. An avid chamber musician, Dr. Richards was a member of the Adelphi Quartet, the graduate string quartet-in-residence at the University of Maryland under the tutelage of the Guarneri Quartet and the Left Bank Quartet. She also earned a Master of Music in Cello Performance from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelors in Music Performance and Education (Instrumental Music K-12) from Ithaca College, where she graduated magna cum laude. Her primary cello teachers were Evelyn Elsing, Dennis Parker, and Elizabeth Simkin. She has performed in masterclasses for Steven Isserlis, Andre Emelianoff, and Peter Wiley and performed in an open rehearsal with the Guarneri Quartet.
As a passionate and dedicated educator, Dr. Richards maintains a large private studio of cello students ages 6-76. She believes in patient and carefully guided musical instruction to create an environment where any student can make successful strides. She was the Director of Instrumental Music Studies at Academia De La Recta Porta, a small private school in Washington DC, as well as cello instructor at the International School of Music and the Richardson School of Music in Maryland. She has also been called upon by the College Park Youth Orchestra and the D.C. Youth Orchestra to lead sectional rehearsals. She currently teachers cello at the Virginia Beach School for the Arts and will be on the Suzuki faculty at the Academy of Music in the fall of 2015.