Music Theater Faculty

Martha Elliott

Martha Elliott headshot


Martha Elliott has enjoyed a rich and varied performing career including a wide variety of repertoire and styles. Her crystalline voice, impeccable musicianship and dynamic stage presence are equally at home in music of the Baroque with period instruments, opera, musical theatre, chamber music and the contemporary avant-guard. She has toured all over the world with the new music ensemble Continuum, performing in New York City, South America, Europe and Asia as well as throughout the U.S. She has worked with over 50 composers on their new works, and been critically acclaimed for her performances of Pierrot Lunaire, and music of John Cage, as well as for the role of Miranda in the world premiere of Peter Westergaard's opera The Tempest.

She has also presented world premieres with the Princeton University Orchestra on tour throughout Eastern Europe and the U.K. She is a member of Philadelphia's Network for New Music and has appeared at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival as well as New York's Knitting Factory and Sonic Boom Festival. She is featured on the CD Geenyoch, music of Jennifer Margaret Barker, which was nominated for three Grammy awards, including best new piece (sung by Martha Elliott).

She has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, as well as the festivals of Tanglewood and Aspen, and with the symphonies of Atlanta, New Jersey, Jacksonville and Vermont. She has also performed with the Odessa Philharmonic in Ukraine. She has been heard in chamber music and recital at Trinity Church in N.Y.C., and the Library of Congress, as well as in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, Providence, Moscow and Princeton. She has appeared with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Chamber Music Society of New Jersey, and the Richardson Chamber Players, collaborating with such artists as Ignat Solzhenitsyn, the Brentano Quartet and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

She has sung Baroque repertoire with Concert Royal, the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, the New England Bach Festival, the Westminster Choir, Princeton Pro Musica, the Streicher Trio, and the Baroque Soloists of N.J., which she co-founded. She has been featured in live radio broadcasts on public radio from the June in Buffalo Festival, on Performance Today, and in CBS' Sunday Morning profiles of Blanche Moyse and George Walker.

In opera and concert she has performed with the Boston Opera, Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Aspen Opera Theatre, Opera Festival of New Jersey and Princeton Opera Theatre. Her roles include Mozarts's soubrettes, Strauss's Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Humperdink's Gretel. She also sang Marzellina in the American stage premiere of the original version of Beethoven's Fidelio, first mounted in 1982 at Princeton University and then brought to Alice Tully Hall by the Beethoven Society. Her concert repertoire includes major oratorios, Symphonies 2 and 4 by Mahler, and Beethoven's 9th.

Graduating with honors from Princeton University, she went on to receive a Masters from Juilliard, where she studied with Ellen Faull. She worked with Jan DeGaetani at Aspen, Phyllis Curtin at Tanglewood, and George McKinley in Philadelphia. Before coming to Princeton, she spent summers at Interlochen singing Gilbert and Sullivan, and summers on Cape Cod doing musical theatre and sailing. She has been teaching at Princeton University since 1985 and is married to conductor Michael Pratt. They have a daughter, Emily and a beagle, Thisbe.