A Room of One’s Own: Joseph Elworthy

A Room of One’s Own is LMPR’s photography series that showcases the beloved spaces belonging to members of Canada’s artistic scene. With a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay by the same name, we present self-portraits from artists, arts media, and arts administrators in a room they call their own.
This week we spoke with Joseph Elworthy, Executive Director at the Vancouver Academy of Music and cellist in the newly formed Koerner Quartet. Elworthy is a celebrated soloist, recitalist, and chamber music artist who has performed on world-class stages as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, and Sejong Hall. His recordings can be heard on EMI, Sony, Archetype, and Bose record labels. For the past decade, he has been a fixture in Vancouver’s music community – as a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and heading the Vancouver Academy of Music’s cello program prior to his 2011 appointment as ED.


This is Joseph’s room:

Joseph Elworthy at Vancouver Academy of Music

Q: Which room did you choose? 


I chose my office at the Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM).


Q: What makes this room ‘yours’? 


I spend an inordinate amount of time in my office as it also serves as my teaching studio, rehearsal space for my ensemble, Koerner Quartet, and lunch room for my two daughters (where they enjoy spilling juice and muffin crumbs between their music lessons!)
I am fortunate to have spectacular views of English Bay and the North Shore mountains. It’s this view that stimulates contemplative thoughts about VAM’s history and my first introduction to the school as a young lad in 1978. The soundtrack to this hazy reminiscing is most often the violin-playing of Dale Barltrop, Jason Ho and Nicholas Wright – three of my dearest friends and VAM/VSO colleagues whose teaching studios are just down the hall from my office.


Q: Identify three items in the room that you love, and explain why they’re special to you.  


I enjoyed personalizing the space with objects that reflect my passions:
1.) The upper left corner shows a large picture of my family (and our pet Weimaraner, Artemis)


2.) Posted to the left of my head is a painted sign made by my daughters – Heather and Hannah – that reads “I Love Everton”, reflecting my family-inherited passion for Everton Football Club and the sport, soccer, which I still avidly play (it was my ‘other’ dream career!)


3.) Pictured to the side of my desk is a rare 300 yr old Ferdinand Gagliano cello which I have the great pleasure of playing. The donor of this cello also presented me with a signed Joan Miro etching of the great Spanish cellist and humanitarian, Pablo Casals, which I proudly display on my desk for motivational purposes for me and my students. Hanging to the left of the cello is the framed cover of my recording of the Bach Solo Cello Suites which was inspired by Casals and in recognition of the incredible patronage of this special donor whom I have been so blessed to encounter.


Joseph Elworthy can be seen with the Koerner Quartet at a free concert on Sunday Dec. 8 at 2pm in VAM’s Koerner Recital Hall. Click here for full details

Categories: MPMG