Historical and ModernViolin
Co-Artistic Director of Bourbon Baroque, Louisville’s period instrument orchestra, Louisville native Alice Culin-Ellison is a versatile historical performer with professional experience in Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic era performance, as well as modern violin performance. Primarily a violinist, she also plays viola, Medieval vielle and rebec, Renaissance violin and viola, and has studied baroque dance. Harkening back to her middle and high school years playing trombone in band, she took up Renaissance sackbut, the predecessor to the modern trombone.
She recently co-founded Incantare | An Ensemble of Violins and Sackbuts, in which the members share a passion for discovering and performing seventeenth-century music. The group strives to highlight the musical and cultural connections of under-explored composers, singers, and instrumentalists during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.
In addition to Bourbon Baroque and Incantare, Alice’s professional engagements include: Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Chatham Baroque, and the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra, and other baroque and modern orchestras across the United States. She has performed in Canada, France, England, China, and Japan, and participated in music festivals under the direction of Christophe Rousset, Christian Curnyn, Philippe Herreweghe and Jeanne Lamon. Alice frequently performs as a soloist and has led opera productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Purcell’s King Arthur.
Pursuing her interest in teaching, Alice has lectured on Historical Performance to ESL students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and given baroque violin masterclasses to students at Valdosta State University and the University of Louisville. Alice received her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2018 from the Case Western Reserve University Historical Performance Program, studying with Julie Andrijeski. Her current research focuses on the beginnings of violin fingerings in the 18th century, and 19th century American string chamber music.
Alice has received several awards including a 2018 CWRU Music Department Travel Grant, a 2017 Career Center/Humanities@Work Scholarship through the CWRU Baker-Nord and Career Centers, a 2015 Early Music America Summer Scholarship, and the Jason Paras Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University, studying with Stanley Ritchie, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan studying under Aaron Berofsky.
Alice plays on a 2016 Jason Viseltear baroque violin, and uses a Harry Grabenstein early 17th century Italian bow, a Louis Bégin late 17th century French Sonata bow, a Michelle Speller 18th century long-bow, and a 1770's Dodd model bow by Andrew Dipper.
When not pursuing her passion for music, Alice is the keeper and grower of many house and garden plants, and enjoys hiking, cooking, baking, and CrossFitting.