Dr. Elizabeth Richards

Cello Teacher

Elizabeth Richards

SAA Member


Norfolk, VA
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Elizabeth Richards is a performing cellist and consummate teacher. She currently plays with the Virginia Symphony and has played with the Richmond Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, National Philharmonic, the National Gallery Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players, as well as the Annapolis Chamber Players, and the Great Noise Ensemble. 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. Dr. Richards was the acting Co-Artistic Director of the Annapolis Chamber Music Project. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia.

As a passionate and dedicated educator, Dr. Richards maintains a large private studio of cello students of all ages. She believes in patient and carefully guided musical instruction to create an environment where any student can make successful strides. She currently teachers Suzuki cello at the Academy of Music in Norfolk and is Adjunct Professor of Cello at Virginia Wesleyan University.

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 is currently the cellist of the New Commonwealth Quartet and 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.