Contralto Elizabeth Anker sings Baroque oratorio, art songs, new music, opera, and a variety of non-classical styles. As a young professional chorister, she learned from master conductors and soloists in the San Francisco Symphony and Opera choruses. She continued to learn from wonderful colleagues in her solo and chamber music singing. She has founded several ensembles beginning with a madrigal quintet in high school, and most recently the Mockingbird Trio (contralto, viola, and piano), for which dozens of pieces have been written.
Elizabeth’s teaching style reflects her own education. Students are encouraged to:
- learn by doing;
- follow their passion;
- practice creatively;
- explore new repertoire; and
- think outside the box.
She has created many voice classes and workshops on topics including Baroque improvisation; sacred song through the ages; American art song; Bach; Handel and his influences; improvisation using popular songs; vocal health; creative practicing; taking auditions; and how to work with older singers. These classes and seminars have been presented at the Longy School, NEC (where she has taught since 1991), a NATS regional conference, and local colleges and choruses. She is Cantor for the High Holidays at Congregation Am HaYam on Cape Cod and conducts the Platinum Singers, a voice class/chorus of senior adults at the United South End Settlements in Boston’s South End.
Professional performances as a soloist include national tours with Sequentia of Köln (music of Hildegard von Bingen), Boston Camerata (American roots and Shaker music, including many recordings), and Magnificat Baroque of San Francisco (music of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, many recordings). Her solo recitals include lieder, contemporary music written for her voice, her own compositions and arrangements, as well as improvisations. She was a soloist in the world premiere of John Adams’s Grand Pianola Music with the San Francisco Symphony and has been a soloist with Boston institutions such as Emmanuel Music (Bach and Schumann), Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Cecilia, Chorus Pro Musica, as well as Philharmonia Baroque orchestra and festivals in Europe. Needless to say, she has sung Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor many, many times.
B.A., University of California/Berkeley. Studies with Robert Honeysucker, Edward Zambara, Jessica Cash, James Schwabacher, Lillian Loran. Member, National Association of Teachers of Singing, ASCAP. Also faculty of Longy School of Music.