Acclaimed for his stellar stage presence and joyous musicianship, cellist Sterling Elliott is a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition. Already in his young career, he has appeared with such major orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony, with noted conductors Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Thomas Wilkins, Jeffrey Kahane, Bramwell Tovey, Mei Ann Chen and others. This summer, he made his Aspen Festival debut, performing the Brahms Double Concerto with Gil Shaham, and he made his German debut in Munich in May 2022, performing chamber music with Daniel Hope.
The 2022-2023 season saw his debuts with the Colorado Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Ft. Worth Symphony, among others, with return appearances including the Buffalo Philharmonic. He appeared in recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, Shriver Hall in Baltimore, the Tippett Rise Festival and Capitol Region Classical in Albany, NY. In October he participated in the Caramoor Music Festival’s prestigious Evnin Rising Stars series, a weeklong program of coaching and chamber music culminating in a performance in Katonah, NY.
Fast becoming a favorite on the summer festival circuit, Sterling has appeared at Music@Menlo, Chamberfest in Cleveland and Chamberfest Northwest in Calgary, Music at Angel Fire and the La Jolla Music Society.
In April 2023, Sterling Elliott was selected by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for its Bowers Program, a three-year residency for exceptionally talented young artists. As a Bowers Program artist, he will participate in CMS tours nationally, and perform in subscription concerts at Alice Tully Hall.
As the youngest of three siblings, Sterling did not want to play the cello but the violin like his older brother and sister. After a bit of encouragement, he completed The Elliott Family String Quartet by learning to play the cello at the age of three under the direction of Suzuki Cello teacher Susan Hines.
He went on to make his concerto debut at the age of 7 by winning the Junior Division of the PYO Concerto Competition, and later the 2014 Richmond Symphony Concerto Competition and the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia Concerto Competition.
Sterling has a long history with the Sphinx Organization where he first received 2nd place in the 2013 National Sphinx Competition Junior Division, then won the 2014 Junior Division. In 2016 he received the Organization’s Isaac Stern Award and toured with the Sphinx Virtuosi in 2018 before winning in 2019.
Sterling is a two-time alum of NPR’s From the Top where he was a recipient of a scholarship from The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and performed several concerts in Switzerland at the 2019 World Economic Forum. He is a Young Strings of America ambassador for SHAR Strings.
In 2019, he was the first recipient of The National Arts Club’s Herman and Mary Neuman Music Scholarship Award. In Spring 2022, Sterling participated in Performance Today’s Young Artist Residency, which featured educational events, interviews and a feature on the nationally syndicated radio program.
Sterling Elliott is currently a Kovner Fellow at the Juilliard School where he recently completed his Master of Music degree studying with Joel Krosnick and Clara Kim. He completed his undergraduate degree in cello performance at Juilliard in May 2021. He currently performs on a 1741 Gennaro Gagliano cello on loan through the Robert F. Smith Fine String Patron Program, in partnership with the Sphinx Organization.
“Cellist Sterling Elliott held a full Severance Hall in his grasp with a strikingly mature account of David Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody, a feisty virtuoso showpiece on the Cleveland Orchestra’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert.”
"Effortlessly balancing the combined forces of the orchestra... Elliott tossed off the several cadenza-like sections (including the marvelous trill in Variation V) while trading luscious lyrical lines with various solo parts."