Elisabeth Small's multi-faceted career has touched upon a wide realm of possibilities for a violinist: university professor, symphonic player, soloist, chamber musician, studio musician, NYC freelancer, clinician, presenter and adjudicator. She continues to enjoy performing, leading masterclasses and teaching privately.
Small, now Professor Emeritus at the Belmont University School of Music, shepherded and developed the String Department there as Coordinator of Strings over 38 years. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Dorothy DeLay.
Her varied career includes engagements as soloist with orchestra, including the National, Atlanta and Nashville Symphonies, chamber music and recital broadcasts on regional television and on public radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, at festivals, as well as service as Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony. Small's 2015 solo/piano-trio tour of eight cities in China included performances and master classes at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Tianjin Conservatory, Nanjing Culture and Arts Center, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music, and Shenzen Concert Hall. Pre-covid, she and her husband, Carl Marsh, collaborated to perform Bach & the Blues in London, UK, and Geneva, Switzerland. Elisabeth has led master classes and clinics as far afield as the Dresden Hochschule in Germany, and many of her presentations at national ASTA and state conferences have focused on muscular-skeletal injury prevention.
Small can be heard on the Premiere Records label in performances of Loewe and Röntgen duos. As an active member of the Nashville recording industry, Elisabeth has sweetened tracks for such Pop luminaries as Ray
Charles, Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Johnny Mathis and Amy Grant.
Her former students hold positions in all levels of education and in symphony orchestras. Elisabeth’s pedagogical philosophy blends her conservatory training with an open mind to nurture all musical styles in her students, whose careers range from Classical to jazz/rock to Bluegrass/Celtic. Her former students continue to be heard on stages the world over, in Classical venues, as well as with renowned acts such as Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Awards and honors of former students include CMA Musician of the Year, 2019, 2020 & 2021 and 2016 and 2017 Grammies.
"I brought my 8th Grade Orchestra to Belmont several times and we did workshops with Elisabeth Small. She is one of the best clinicians that has ever worked with my kids! She is firm and loving at the same time. Her passion and expertise come across clearly, and she always brings out the very best in my students."
Elkins Pointe Middle School
Franklin Pond Chamber Music, Atlanta, GA
South Carolina American String Teachers Association state conference, Greenville, SC
Naperville High School, IL
Governor’s School for the Arts, TN
The Washington Conservatory of Music, Washington, D.C.
Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
Tianjin Conservatory, pre-collegiate and collegiate divisions
Nanjing Culture and Art Centre
Guanzhou Xinghai Conservatory
Dresden Hochshule, Dresden, Germany as part of a 2006 Belmont School of Music faculty exchange