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Mathias Elmer

Mathias Elmer, Director of Orchestral Activities

Mathias Elmer, Director of Orchestral Activities
Mathias Elmer, Director of Orchestral Activities

School of Performing Arts
242S Squires Student Center
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Mathias Elmer served as Director of Orchestral Activities at Connecticut College in New London from 2018 to 2020, and at the University of Memphis—Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music from 2017 to 2018. In 2017, he completed his DMA degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Memphis under Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang. Further studies in conducting have led him to Michael Stern (USA), Karl Anton Rickenbacher (CH), Johannes Schlaefli (CH), and Mark Ensley (USA), amongst others.

In 2011, he received his master’s degree in orchestra and opera conducting at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts—School of Music under Maestro Ralf Weikert. Elmer was Music Director of the “Orchestra con brio,” a post he held for eight years. He was founding member and trumpet player of the professional brass quintet “Philharmonic Brass Zurich—Generell5” from 2002 to 2014. Elmer is sought after throughout Switzerland as a wind band festival adjudicator. Since 2009 he has been teaching for the Zurich Music Association as part of the conducting faculty.

Together with his colleague Kevin Sütterlin, Elmer is Co-Music Director and founder of Sinfonietta Memphis, a Tennessee-based chamber orchestra mainly focusing on the historically informed performance of Viennese Classical composers in innovative and non-traditional settings. Elmer has been named the winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the College/University Orchestra division for 2017/18.


  • Orchestral Conducting
  • History of Conducting
  • Ensemble Direction from 1500 to 1800
  • Viennese Classical Composers
  • Historically Informed Performance Practice
  • DMA in Orchestral Conducting, University of Memphis, 2017
  • MM in Orchestral and Opera Conducting, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland, 2011
  • CAS in Orchestral Conducting, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, 2007
  • BM in Trumpet & Teaching Diploma Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, 2004
  • Founding Co-Music Director Sinfonietta Memphis
  • Co-Artistic Director The Sinfonietta Academy for Historically Informed Performance Practice
  • Winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, College/University Division 2017-18
  • Recipient of the Arts Award 2018 of Canton Glarus - Switzerland, 2017
  • Creative Achievement and Performance Award, University of Memphis, 2017
  • The American Prize in Conducting, Semi-Finalist, Orchestra Division 2016-17
  • International Research Scholarship, University of Memphis, 2015
  • Honorary Stipend, Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Chengdu, China, 2015

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