Born in Taiwan and raised in Florida, clarinetist Elisha Willinger has made appearances as principal clarinet with the New Haven Symphony and as a guest with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. He has also performed chamber music alongside members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has been invited to perform with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He also holds an associate membership with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Elisha has won competitions including the 2017 Yale Chamber Music Society, 2012 Yamaha Performing Artists competitions, and recently Second Prize in the 2019 International Clarinet Association’s Orchestral competition. He has performed throughout the US, Europe, and Canada and was soloist with The Royal Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. In 2018 he made his debut at Carnegie Hall in Weill Recital Hall as part of the Yale in New York chamber series and was also a finalist performing Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto in the Yale Philharmonia’s Concerto Competition. He has spent summers at festivals including the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen, Sarasota, Norfolk, Banff, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, among others.
He holds his Master of Music degree from Yale University where he studied with renowned clarinetist David Shifrin and an Artist Diploma from the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto. Elisha is an avid educator having served as a Yale undergraduate clarinet instructor and Teaching Artist for Yale’s Music in the Schools Initiative in New Haven’s public schools. His other major teachers include distinguished clarinetists Joaquin Valdepeñas, Principal Clarinet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Ixi Chen, Second Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He earned his Bachelor of Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Michigan where he holds the graduate fellowship and teaching assistantship.