Tobias Elser began his violin studies at the age of 5 in his hometown of Ithaca, NY. He then went on to study with Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin Conservatory for his Bachelor’s degree. It was while he was concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra that he realized he had an affinity for chamber collaboration and since then he has devoted his musical focus to the art of chamber music. While attending Oberlin he also discovered the unique thrill that contemporary music can offer after having worked extensively with Timothy Weiss. After graduating from Oberlin, Elser fueled this newly found passion by playing in esteemed modern chamber music ensembles such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Slee Sinfonietta. Prior to joining the Dior Quartet, Elser attended numerous chamber music festivals such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, among others.
Elser then went on to receive his Master’s of Music Degree from Indiana University, under the violin instruction of Kevork Mardirossian. It was during his first year at Indiana that Elser and his classmates formed the Dior Quartet. During their studies, the quartet received many awards from the Jacobs School of Music including the Kuttner Quartet Scholarship, the Chamber Music Fellowship position, as well as 1st prize at the annual Beethoven Haus Quartet Competition. After completing his Master’s in Violin Performance, Elser went on to receive a Performer’s Diploma in Chamber Music, also from Indiana.
Since the Fall of 2021 the Dior Quartet has held the position of Quartet in Residence at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Elser plays on a violin crafted by Jesse Maschmeyer in 2010. When he’s not rehearsing with his quartet or teaching violin lessons, he enjoys improvising on piano, and going on hikes.
The Glenn Gould School,
Jacobs School of Music
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
String Quartet-In-Residence Fellow
Master of Music, Violin Performance
Bachelor of Music, Violin Performance
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