Versatile Canadian violinist Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith grew up in Nanaimo, BC. She began her violin studies at age 5, with an inspiring teacher, which led her to a career as a professional violinist. In over a decade of performing with several Toronto ensembles, Elyssa cherished her time with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, which inspired her to pursue a specialty in early music. In 2016, Elyssa returned to her island roots, and settled in Victoria be closer to family. Excited to pursue new opportunities, she was warmly welcomed by her west coast colleagues and now holds permanent positions in local early music ensembles Victoria Baroque and Pacific Baroque Orchestra (Vancouver).
In addition to performing, Elyssa is an enthusiastic and passionate educator and has been involved in teaching, coaching and program development for over 15 years. As an educator in Toronto, Elyssa was the Director of the Strings program at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music (KCM), as well as the assistant strings teacher at Havergal College Senior School. She was also the founder of the KCM orchestral program and summer chamber music academies. Since moving to Cowichan Bay, Elyssa became the founder of the Cowichan String Academy. She teaches a busy studio of private students ranging in ages 5-17. Elyssa has been on faculty at the Victoria Baroque Summer Academy since its inception in 2016 and has been invited as a guest coach to the Collegium Ensemble at the University of Victoria. In 2018, Elyssa became the coordinator of the Junior Summer String Academy at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and most recently became the founder of the Victoria Baroque Youth Orchestra in 2022.