Elena Kolbrek is a concert violinist and educator, intertwining performance and outreach to create holistic educational experiences within her workspaces and community. Elena has toured the midwest with the National Lutheran Choir and is a prize winner in the Edvard Grieg Society Violin Competition, where her transcription of a Grieg piano piece garnered special recognition. She has been featured as a conductor with college bands and high school and middle school orchestras and performs with the Schwob Philharmonic, LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Elena is currently a graduate student at the Schwob School of Music where she studies with Professor Boris Abramov.
Elena resides as a violin instructor in the Schwob Preparatory Program and teaches throughout Muskogee Public Schools. As a Teaching Artist in Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Making Music Matters program, she provides group violin lessons to children in Title I schools with the goal “to enrich students’ lives through the creative pursuit of musical skills.” In her private studio, Elena teaches students in California, Georgia, and South Africa. Additionally, she teaches live and on-demand masterclasses in her recently appointed role as faculty at AdagioX, an innovative music education company that champions orchestra education and student opportunity.
Elena holds a Masters in Music from the Schwob School of Music and a Bachelor’s in Music (Violin Performance and K-12 Music Education) from the University of Minnesota, where she graduated with summa cum laude recognition. Her teachers and mentors include Sergiu Schwartz and Boris Abramov (CSU-Schwob), Sally O’Reilly (UMN), and Roger Frisch (Minnesota Orchestra).
As the founding executive director of the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation, Elena works to engage the global partnerships with families and organizations for meaningful impact through music education. She oversees the production of all programs between the board, artistic faculty, staff, students, and volunteers, ensuring that each project carries out the mission and goals of the foundation while providing organizational guidance and oversight.