Elizabeth Green is recognized as one of the most important and highly esteemed teachers of stringed instruments and conducting in America. Her books are used in classrooms in major universities, and her associations with some of the greatest violinists and conductors in the world put her for many years in high demand as a lecturer.
Green finished her music degree requirements at Wheaton before she finished high school. She continued musical studies that included viola with Clarence Evans, principal violist with the Chicago Symphony, and violin with Jacques Gordon, the concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.
After Wheaton, Elizabeth took on the formidable task of teaching stringed instruments in the Waterloo, Iowa, public schools and organizing the Waterloo Symphony.
In 1942 she was invited to teach the orchestral program for the Ann Arbor public schools. Accepting the challenge, Green transformed the Ann Arbor High School “orchestra” from a struggling nine-member group into a 60-piece symphony. She left the public schools in 1954 to teach full-time at the University for the next 20 years.
She performed and conducted with numerous symphony orchestras from around the country, but never gave up her desire for learning more. From 1949 to 1956, Green spent her summers studying violin with world-renowned Ivan Galamian. During this time, she also helped him write his book ”Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching” (1962). Green has been considered a leading authority on Galamian’s methods of violin pedagogy.
She also helped finish the late Nicolai Malko’s book ”The Conductor and His Score” (1971). Green had a long association with the great Russian composer. In 1965, four years after his death, the Nicolai Malko Memorial International Competition for Young Performers was established, and Green was invited to be a guest lecturer at the first competition in Copenhagen.
Green’s writing proficiency has resulted in books such as ”The Modern Conductor” (1961) which has been published in four edition and is considered a classic. Her book ”The Dynamic Orchestra” was published in 1987.
Green retired in 1974. She decided to pursue a lifetime love of painting and earned a Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Her advice to all her students and colleagues were both encouraging and practical. “Go after your goal in life, but be prepared to make a living.”
Elizabeth Green died September 4, 1995. The Papers of Elizabeth Green are housed in the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections and are available for research.