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julio elizalde at the piano


Office 546


Graduate seminar in Chamber Music

Chamber Music


BM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

MM, Juilliard School

DMA, Juilliard School


Recital partner to violinist Ray Chen (2011-present)

Recital partner to violinist Sarah Chang (2013-present)

Member of the NEW Trio (2006-present)

Awards and Distinctions

Grand Prize, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition

Harvard Music Association's Arthur W. Foote Prize

Winner, Juilliard Concerto Competition

compelling artistry and power"

— Seattle Times


What is your hometown?

Walnut Creek, CA

What is your favorite recording? Why?

Brahms Piano Works by Murray Perahia. It's an astonishing example of what happens when selfless artistry with complete commitment to the composer's intentions are made into sound with explosive pianistic virtuosity.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

I'm a private pilot and love to explore the cultures of the world when touring.

Who were your major teachers?

Paul Hersh, Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"How do I fix this specific problem?"

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

In high school, I was lucky to be hired for a summer job at Tower Records as the assistant to the classical buyer. There, I received the most amazing education in what makes a classical recording great and I knew I had to commit my life to music.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I'd likely be an airline pilot. I was torn between aviation in music before I decided to follow music.

What is your daily practice routine?

2-3 hours of very focused practice with quality being prioritized over quantity. Sometimes the best practice is studying away from the instrument.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mozart, Brahms, and Ravel.

What is your unrealized project?

To perform all of Mozart's piano concertos.

What do you think makes a concert experience unique?

The experience is unique if the performer really tries to explore a composer's music with complete devotion to their world, history, and language. Attempting to allow the music to speak for itself is the ultimate risk in performance.


Praised as a musician of “compelling artistry and power” by the Seattle Times, the Hispanic-American pianist Julio Elizalde is a multi-faceted artist who enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, artistic administrator, educator, and curator. He has performed at many of the world’s major music centers including Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Koerner Hall (Toronto), Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), National Concert Hall (Taipei), and the Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore), among many others. Since 2014, Julio has served as the Artistic Director of the Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, Washington. He has appeared as recital partner to famed violinists Ray Chen and Sarah Chang, and has collaborated with artists such as Pablo Ferrández, Kian Soltani, Pamela Frank, Robert McDonald, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Kronos, Brentano, St. Lawrence, and Dover string quartets. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Julio received a bachelor of music degree with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Paul Hersh. He holds master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.