With « energetic and precise gestures, a confidence that seduces irresistibly » (paris.fr), Elizabeth Askren « imposes through assurance and genuineness… creating an atmosphere specific to unforgettable evenings » (Faclia). Her versatile scope in both symphonic and lyric repertoire, informed musical research, and passion as a pedagogue and community-builder have developed a multi-faceted and socially engaged career that is redefining the modern conductor.
Recent and upcoming performances include débuts in Europe with Romania’s Transylvanian State Philharmonic, the Romanian National Opera of Cluj-Napoca, and France’s Victor Hugo Franche-Comté orchestra featuring soloists Sophie Dervaux (Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna State Opera…) and Félix Dervaux (Amsterdam Concertgebouw), and in the United States with Kentucky Opera, the Dallas Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theatre.
Elizabeth Askren is invited throughout Europe and the United States to teach conducting and the art of leadership, and is featured regularly in the American and European media (PBS Newshour, OperaWire, Radio France Internationale, France Musique…). Currently Conductor-in-residence at the Romanian National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima”, she is both an alumna and Faculty Ambassador for the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors.
Askren is the Founder and Artistic Director of TOA – Transylvanian Opera Academy, Romania’s first opera studio. Since its creation in 2017, TOA has been featured on national television and radio and in the press, and benefitted from a unique observation residency with the National Opera of Paris’ Academy.
Askren holds diplomas in piano and conducting from the Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Conducting Institute of Bard in the United States, and the Schola Cantorum and the Ecole Normale de Musique in France. Her musical mentors include conductors Marin Alsop and Lorin Maazel, and pianists Byron Janis and Sergio Perticaroli. She was awarded the highest teaching diplomas from both the French Ministry of Culture (certificat d’aptitude en direction d’ensembles orchestrales) and the Romanian Ministry of Education (PhD, magna cum laude).
She is based in both Transylvania, where she resides with her husband and young daughter, and Paris, where she maintains a residence. Eager to contribute to her local communities, she has served on various educational and philanthropic boards, and consults for nonprofit organizations in the US and Europe.