Headshot by Miranda Loud

Contralto Elizabeth Anker sings Baroque oratorio, art songs, new music, opera, and a variety of non-classical styles. As a young professional chorister, she learned from master conductors and soloists in the San Francisco Symphony and Opera choruses. She continues to be inspired by wonderful colleagues in her solo and chamber music singing. Liz founded several ensembles beginning with a madrigal quintet in high school, and most recently the Mockingbird Trio (contralto, viola, and piano), for which dozens of pieces have been written.

She has created roles for Francine Trester’s 334 Bunnies and Larry Thomas Bell’s Holy Ghosts, and has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as with other Boston-based organizations like Emmanuel Music, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Cecilia, and Chorus Pro Musica among others. Suffice to say, she has sung Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor many, many times.

“The foundation is a deep contralto octave that she can drive like a pop singer or wrap in velvet.” — Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

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As a young professional chorister, she learned from master conductors and soloists in the San Francisco Symphony and Opera choruses.  Her voice teachers include Lillian Loran, Elwood Thornton, James Schwabacher, Jessica Cash, Edward Zambara and Robert Honeysucker.   Improvisation teachers include Rhiannon, Eugene Friesen and Bobby McFerrin.

She founded and conducted two choruses of elders.  JP Jubilee meets in the local library.  The Platinum Singers met at the Harriet Tubman House in Boston’s South End for several years.

Elizabeth earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, and did further study in London and Boston. Elizabeth is currently on faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music’s School of Continuing Education.

She currently teaches at her Jamaica Plain studio.

Selected solo recordings

Experience and Education


  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley.
  • Voice with Robert Honeysucker, Edward Zambara, Jessica Cash, James Schwabacher, Lillian Loran.
  • Master classes and further studies with Max van Egmond, Judith Nelson, Ian Partridge, Rene Jacobs, William Parker
  • Improvisation studies with Rhiannon, Eugene Friesen,  and Bobby McFerrin.

Additional training

  • Theater training at American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco
  • Alexander Technique, San Francisco and London
  • Body Mapping
  • Sound Healing with Dr. Molly Scott
  • Jazz piano with Ben Schwendener
  • Creative Aging Through the Arts with the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts

Faculty Positions

  • New England Conservatory of Music, School of Continuing Education (1990-present)
  • Longy School of Music (1987-2013)
  • San Francisco Community Music Center (1977-1985)

Member, National Association of Teachers of Singing, ASCAP.