A former violinist with the Boston Symphony and longtime associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, Gerald Elias has performed on five continents as violinist, conductor, composer, and educator. Since 2004, he has been music director of the popular Vivaldi by Candlelight chamber orchestra series in Salt Lake City. He continues to perform with the Boston Symphony at their Tanglewood summer festival and in 2019 helped establish and conducted the inaugural Baroque string orchestra of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Elias was first violin of the Abramyan String Quartet from 1993-2003 and has been a faculty member of the University of Utah School of Music since 1989. He has had the distinct pleasure of guest conducting the Salt Lake Symphony on two previous occasions.
As an author, Elias’s Daniel Jacobus mystery series, which takes place in the dark corners of the classical music world, has won extensive critical praise. His first two award-winnings novels, Devil’s Trill and Danse Macabre , were also released on Audible in 2017 as unique audio books with music performed by Elias. The sixth installment of the series, Spring Break , was released in the summer of 2017 by Severn House, about which the prestigious international magazine, The Strad, wrote, “a very deftly written murder mystery…guaranteed to please.” Jacobus fans will be pleased to hear that books seven and eight in the series are scheduled for release in 2021.
Elias’s nonfiction book, Symphonies & Scorpions , first published in 2017, provides an insider’s view of an orchestra musician’s life and the role musicians play as international citizen diplomats. Set against the backdrop of two historic Boston Symphony tours to Asia, iBerkshires commented that the book is “nothing less than a musical odyssey of discovery.” The new edition includes the essay, “War & Peace. And Music,” which was awarded the first prize by the Utah Division of History and Museums in 2018 and was performed by Elias at the recent TEDxSaltLakeCity event. And in another first, his enchanting musical children’s story, Maestro, the Potbellied Pig , appears in English and Spanish translations in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats. Elias’s short stories, provocative essays, and reviews have graced diverse and distinguished anthologies and online journals, from Ellery Queen Magazine to Opera magazine.
A native New Yorker, Gerald Elias attended Oberlin College and received degrees from Yale University. He resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, and West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he continues to expand his musical and literary horizons.