Julio Elizalde, a former student of veteran festival musician Paul Hersh, first appeared at the Olympic Music Festival in 2008, and has returned every subsequent season. Over the years, his participation has grown exponentially as a festival artist and as a regular assistant to festival founder Alan Iglitzin. In 2010, Elizalde was named an associate artistic director, having been responsible for inviting new rising talents to perform at the summer concerts in the barn. The following year, his title was changed to co-artistic director as his level of involvement increased. In the fall of 2014, Iglitzin named Elizalde as his successor, becoming the second artistic director in the history of the festival. Elizalde is now the youngest artistic director of a major arts organization in the United States.
Praised as a musician of “compelling artistry and power” by the Seattle Times, the gifted American pianist Julio Elizalde is one of the most sought-after and multi-faceted artists of his generation. He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America to popular and critical acclaim.
Mr. Elizalde has appeared with many of the leading artists of our time. He tours internationally with world-renowned violinists Sarah Chang and Ray Chen and has performed alongside conductors Itzhak Perlman, Teddy Abrams, and Anne Manson. He has collaborated with artists such as violinist Pamela Frank, composers Osvaldo Golijov and Stephen Hough, baritone William Sharp, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets. Mr. Elizalde is a founding member of the New Trio, winner of both the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions and is the recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s prestigious Arthur W. Foote Prize.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where he earned a doctor of musical arts degree in 2011. At Juilliard, he was a student of Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.