Elizabeth Koch



Originally from the Philadelphia area, Elizabeth Koch has been Principal Flute with the ESO since 1987. Since arriving in Edmonton, Elizabeth has also been in demand as a soloist with the ESO, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Alberta College Percussion Ensemble, among others. 

She studied at the New School of Music in Philadelphia and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Summer studies include the Blossom Festival School and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orkester, where, in 1987, she was the only American flutist to play under Leonard Bernstein. 

Her teachers include David Cramer (retired Assistant Principal Flute, Philadelphia Orchestra), Jeffrey Khaner (Principal Flute, Philadelphia Orchestra) and Adeline Tomasone (retired Principal Flute, Philadelphia Opera).

She also really enjoys chamber music and, with Dennis Prime and Peter Douglas, was a founding member of the woodwind trio Take 3, which was heard regularly on CBC Radio from 1992-1998. Along with Shelley Younge (retired Assistant Principal Flute of the ESO), Elizabeth Faulkner, and Petar Dundjerski, she is a founding member of Edmonton's only professional flute quartet, The Top Notes. Formed in 2017, they have performed in Edmonton, St. Paul, St. Albert, and Calgary, as well as Camp Van Es for the Wye String Ensemble's 2019 Fall String Camp. 

The newest chamber group is the ESO Woodwind Quintet. Elizabeth started with woodwind quintets in high school at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and is very happy to be in one again. She is very much looking forward to her upcoming performances with esteemed colleagues and friends June Kim, Julianne Scott, Bianca Chambul, and Allene Hackleman. 

Elizabeth is on faculty at The King's University, Concordia University, and maintains a private teaching studio, where she has instructed students from ages six to 88.  She is married to recently retired ESO violinist Murray Vaasjo. They have one son and a number of formerly stray cats.  

If Elizabeth had to pick one favourite piece of music, it would be The Rite of Spring, because that was the main piece performed during that summer she played under Leonard Bernstein.