Elizabeth O’Hara is a professional violist living in Northern Virginia. A native of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in May of 2005 with a Bachelor of Music in viola performance, where in her senior year she served as assistant principal of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Luis Biava of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In May of 2011, Elizabeth received her Master of Music degree in viola performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where she performed with the CUA Symphony Orchestra as both principal and section violist.
Elizabeth has also performed in several premier ensembles as both principal and section violist throughout the DC Metro, greater Philadelphia, and south central PA areas. These ensembles include the Amadeus Orchestra of Northern VA, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Apollo Orchestra, Arlington Philharmonic, Chambersburg Ballet, Festival of the Youth Orchestras of America in San Juan, PR, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra, Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C), Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, and York Symphony Orchestra, as well as many others.
She has had the privilege of studying viola at CUA with Ms. Tsuna Sakamoto, violist of the National Symphony Orchestra, and continues to take lessons from her. At Temple, Elizabeth studied under Ms. Evelyn Luise, principal violist of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She also studied with Ms. Alice Bish of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
Elizabeth also has extensive experience with chamber music. She received in-depth training as a young player at several chamber music institutes and workshops. In addition, Elizabeth has benefited from the coachings of prestigious chamber musicians at Temple and CUA such as violinist Helen Kwalwasser, Philadelphia Orchestra violist Sidney Curtiss, and ‘cellists Orlando Cole, Jeffrey Solow, and Michael Mermagen. She is co-founder of the Vivace String Quartet in central PA, formed in 2000, an ensemble that has performed several recitals and countless private functions in the Harrisburg, PA area. Elizabeth is also the co-founder of the Altra Strings in 2008, a professional all-female quartet formed out of The Catholic University of America with whom she currently performs as violist. The quartet had its most exciting performance in conjunction with Dream Works Pictures for the release of the movie The SOLOIST in the spring of 2009. The quartet performed works by several composers, including some pieces heard in the movie, and were accompanied by a visual artist who created a canvas work inspired by The SOLOIST and the music heard by the quartet. Most recently, Elizabeth was the violist of the Fairfax Chamber Ensemble from 2012 through the end of the 2013-2014 season.
Elizabeth feels incredibly fortunate to have her dream career as a professional musician. She is eager to participate in any and all performance opportunities, including orchestral, chamber, solo, and non-classical (jazz, Latin, even rock are all welcome!). If you are interested in seeing a performance, please feel free to check out the Upcoming Events page for information on what’s coming up!