Elena Escalza Cortina
Elena Escalza Cortina, violoncellist of both the Schubert String Quartet and the Cuarteto del Pino, was born in Bilbao, where she recieved her basic music education at the local music conservatory, completing her diploma with the highest distinction cum laude. Afterwards, she moved to Germany for her postgraduate studies at Musikhochschule Freiburg.
From Freiburg she moved on to Musikhochschule Frankfurt, finishing her degree Konzertsolistin as scholarship holder of several institutions: the Spanish local authority Diputación de Bizkaia and the foundation of the La Caixa Bank, as well as the German Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.
In the following years, she completed her studies with Prof. Gary Hoffman at Ecole Normale de Paris and with Prof. Lluis Claret at Alcalá de Henares University in Madrid.
She worked with numerous important cellists, such as Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, T. Demenga, F. Helmerson, Ivan Monighetti, Michael Sanderling, etc.
As founding member of the Cuarteto Quiroga, she took quartet lessons with Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartett) at Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía.
Elena Escalza Cortina was prizewinner at various national and international competitions, such as the Beethoven Klaviertrio-Wettbewerb, the Premio Nicanor Zabaleta, the national chamber music contest of Juventudes Musicales de España, the Premio Ciudad de Manresa, etc.
She was principal violoncellist at Germany’s Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, as well as principal cellist of the Utopia Ensemble, a project initiated by Charles André Linale, founding member and first violinist of the Orpheus Quartet.
She is presently teaching String Quartet and Orchestra Repertory classes at Musikene, North Spain’s leading music conservatory.
She regularly performs with North Spain’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi and Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, both as co-principal cellist, as well as in their respective chamber music cicles.
Elena Escalza Cortina keeps playing as soloist, performing recitals or joining various chamber music groups, with which she gets to play at distinguished festivals, such as Festival de Música y Danza de Granada or Quincena Musical de San Sebastián, in halls such as Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao, el Palau de la Música de Valencia, among others, being broadcast on Spanish National Radio and TV. Her international tours took her through Italy, Germany, France and England.
Since 2005, she is member of the Trío Alosia, with which she has toured Spain as well as France and Germany, performing on venues such as Festival Internacional de Música de León, and getting to perform works such as Beethoven’s famous triple concerto with orchestra accompaniment.