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Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for her “superb command of color and nuance,” Elise Blatchford is a flutist who embraces the independent, the experimental, and the DIY. She is the Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Memphis Scheidt School of Music.

A chamber musician, soloist, orchestral musician, and teacher, Ms. Blatchford frequently collaborates with some of the most forward-thinking artists of her generation. She was selected by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to be a 2017 fellow of their Ensemble Evolution program at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. As a founding member of the woodwind quintet The City of Tomorrow, Ms. Blatchford won the gold medal of the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in 2011, and received a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning grant in 2014. The quintet has commissioned new works from composers Hannah Lash, Nat Evans, and John Aylward, among others.

As a recitalist, Ms. Blatchford frequently programs music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been an invited guest at venues across the U.S., including Indiana University, University of Oregon, and Yale. In 2017-18, she will begin touring a new program of works for solo flute and electronics, including works by Dai Fujikura and Marcos Balter.

Also at home in the traditional orchestra world, Ms. Blatchford will serve as Second Flute of the Memphis Symphony during the 2017-18 season. She has performed with the Oregon Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. With YOA, she toured extensively throughout South America, the Caribbean, and mainland China; made an appearance at Carnegie Hall with Valery Gergiev; and recorded with Philip Glass.

A devoted and energetic pedagogue, Ms. Blatchford works to instill versatile musicianship in her students, so that they can create sustainable and varied careers. She also coaches chamber music, and is creating new curricula to help students develop skills in music criticism and arts entrepreneurship. She has given master classes at New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Williams College, Longy School of Music, and Skidmore College, among many others. She holds degrees in flute performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory.


Upcoming Concerts

September 30-October 1, 2017 - Memphis Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 pm Saturday at the Cannon Center; 2:30 pm Sunday at Germantown Performing Arts Center.

October 6, 2017 - Orchestral performance in Nanjing, China;  details TBD.

October 7-12, 2017 - Appearances in Shanghai, China; details TBD.

October 28-29, 2017 - Memphis Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 pm Saturday at the Cannon Center; 2:30 pm Sunday at Germantown Performing Arts Center.


past performances

August 13, 2017 - River City Flute Quartet performance at the National Flute Association Convention, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. 12 pm in Main Auditorium.

August 11, 2017 - Flute and electronic music concert at the National Flute Association Convention, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. 9 am in Auditorium 3.

August 5, 2017 - Concert at 6 pm with River City Flute Quartet at the Continuum New Music Festival, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN.

August 4, 2017 - Concert at 8 pm with the City of Tomorrow at the Intersect Festival in Bryant Park, New York, NY.

July 17-22, 2017 - Residency with the City of Tomorrow at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, Boscawen, New Hampshire.

June 18 to July 2, 2017 - Ensemble Evolution residency with International Contemporary Ensemble, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta.

More Past performances


Study flute at the University of Memphis

The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis in Tennessee offers the bachelor of music and master of music degrees in music (BM and MM) and the doctor of musical arts (DMA) degree. As a flute player, you can major in flute performance, music education, music business, or minor in music while taking flute lessons.

There are considerable flute scholarship and flute assistantship opportunities available to students who audition, and the university is serious about keeping tuition affordable. I offer a free sample lesson to anyone visiting campus and I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the school via email You can also read testimonials from former students about their experience here. 

I bring energy and focus to all the lessons I teach. Hard work should be praised, and enthusiasm for the music is important in fostering a disciplined work ethic. Lessons focus on fundamentals:

  • Tone development and intonation through embouchure work, long tones, and ear training.

  • Technique through scales, arpeggios, proper hand position, and training light, supple fingers.

  • Musicality, interpretation, and style through the study of repertoire from the baroque, classical, and romantic periods in addition to music of the 20th and 21st century.

  • Development of creativity and sense of freedom via improvisation. 

I mostly teach students at the university, but I accept private students on a limited basis and by audition only. Contact me for more information.


degrees and majors

BM, MM, DMA, music minor.

Music performance, music education, musicology, music business, recording technology

special opportunities

Memphis Flute Choir, River City Flute Quartet, flute pedagogy class, study abroad, audition for Memphis Symphony sub list, audition prep class

Play better than you ever thought you could.

It all starts with that single goal, that first hour, that weekly plan. Add supportive and inspiring fellow students. Mix in varied performance opportunities and a high level of expectation. You'll never know what you can do until you try.