Judith and Stewart Colton Tanglewood Learning Institute Director
One of North America’s most innovative music educators, Sue Elliott was appointed TLI Director in August 2018.
Prior to joining the BSO, Sue launched and led the world’s first online professional development, certificate, and accreditation program for private music teachers at all stages of their careers at the Royal Conservatory of Music in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. Through this professional community of practice, thousands of teachers from around the world now call the Conservatory their partner in lifelong learning.
As Director of Education at Seattle Opera from 2010 to 2015, Sue redesigned the company’s public programs, which tripled annual events and participants and significantly increased program revenue. She commissioned its first community-inspired new work, An American Dream, which premiered in August 2015. Sue also produced the most successful Ring Cycle Festival in the company’s history, in conjunction with Wagner’s 2013 bicentennial. A popular music lecturer at home and abroad, she cohosted Saturday Night Opera broadcasts on Classical King FM and served as an advisory board member for ArtsEd Washington, University of Washington School of Music, King FM, the Seattle Science Festival, and OPERA America.
Prior to her tenure in the Pacific Northwest, Sue spent 10 years at Houston Grand Opera (HGO). There, she created the award-winning Song of Houston initiative, pairing notable mainstage and community-based commissions from Christopher Theofanidis, Huang Ruo, Jake Heggie, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Jose “Pepe” Martínez, and others, with groundbreaking education and community projects. After 11 years and 20 new works—including The Refuge; Now & Then: the blues; the East + West chamber opera series; and sold-out performances of the world’s first mariachi opera in nine cities around the world— Song of Houston has engaged more than 100 collaborating organizations and 500,000 people. Sue arrived at HGO as a stage manager, after having served in that capacity at the Canadian Opera Company, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. She was the first Canadian recipient of an OPERA America fellowship in Production and Stage Management.
An accomplished clarinetist and pianist, Sue holds a Master of Music Performance degree from the University of Southern California, an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from McGill University.