Anna Phoebe

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Anna Phoebe
Birth name Anna Phoebe McElligott[1]
Born (1981-02-18) 18 February 1981 (age 34)
Origin London
Genres Rock, Folk, Jazz, Celtic, Middle Eastern
Occupation(s) Violinist
Instruments Violin, Keyboard
Years active 2001–present
Associated acts Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Oi Va Voi, Ian Anderson, Jon Lord, Roxy Music
Website Official Anna Phoebe Website

Anna Phoebe (born Anna Phoebe McElligott, 18 February 1981), is a London-based violinist, who is known for her proficiency in many musical genres, including rock, folk, jazz, Celtic, and Middle Eastern music.


Born in Germany to a German mother, she has a Greek-Irish father.[2] The family moved to the United Kingdom when she was four, and she was raised in Scotland where she started learning the violin aged seven. She moved to London to study at the London School of Economics, studying Social Policy & Government.[3] It has been reported that while she was studying at LSE, Phobe supported herself by working as a stuntwoman and worked un-credited on the Bond movie 'Die Another Day'. In 2013, Phobe revealed the source of the misinformation, "This was a lovely friend of mine with a wicked sense of humor trying to prove to me how ridiculous Wikipedia is as a source of reliable information. And you know what? This question always comes up in interviews, so she's right!"[4]


Having played through university, on graduation she devoted herself to music, working as a session musician for producers, bands, and singers across a variety of genres.

Phoebe has been hired by many musicians, including Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Robin Gibb, Ronan Keating, Liberty X, George Michael, LeAnn Rimes.[5] She has appeared on various television shows, including Top of the Pops, The Michael Parkinson Show, MTV and GMTV;[3] as well as music festivals, including Glastonbury and The Big Chill. Phoebe also features in the theme tune for the Turner Prize 2005 exhibition, and played Oi Va Voi.

Phoebe was a guest star in 2007's "Jethro Tull World Tour," after an approach by Ian Anderson, and appeared on several occasions in later years with Anderson and his band.[3][6] In 2012 she participated in their Thick As A Brick 1&2 tour, jamming onscreen nightly with Anderson remotely via Skype.[4]

In 2009 Anna started working at the internet rock & metal station, TotalRock, as a stand in DJ.

In Summer 2010 she toured festivals with Roxy Music playing violin and keyboards.

She toured with the late Jon Lord (Deep Purple) as his violinist, with performances in Russia and Sicily, and later took part in the tribute Sunflower Jam which was held at Royal Albert Hall in July 2011.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra[edit]

Phoebe first joined the TSO West Coast Band in 2004. She was invited back in both 2005 and 2006, making her the first String Director and Soloist to return for a third year running, and returned in 2007 as part of the (east) band. As part of the TSO, Phoebe toured for three months every Christmas through 26 states around West and Central USA. She performed nearly 70 dates in arenas to audiences of up to 15,000 people. Venues have included the Phoenix Arena, American Airline Center in Dallas, the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Save Mart Center in Fresno, HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, and the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. She toured with the TSO East Coast band in 2008 and 2009. Anna decided to move on from TSO in August 2010 stating, "I feel that I have taken my role as TSO violinist as far as it can go and it is time for me to hand the bow to someone else". [7]

Solo career[edit]

Phoebe finished her debut solo rock violin albumette Gypsy, co-written with TSO rock guitarist, Angus Clark, and mixed and recorded by Nick Wollage. She released her second solo album on iTunes, titled Rise of the Warrior.

Personal life[edit]

In mid-2006, Phoebe began living with BBC news presenter Gavin Esler.[2][8] Together they have two daughters. [9]



  • Between The Shadow And The Soul (2014)
  • Embrace EP (2013)
  • Gypsy (2006)
  • Rise Of The Warrior (2008)

Trans Siberian Orchestra[edit]

Oi Va Voi[edit]


  1. ^ "Anna Phoebe McElligott". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Newsnight's Gavin Esler goes public with his Vixen Of The Violin at art exhibition". Daily Mail. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  3. ^ a b c David Randall (2007). "10 questions to Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  4. ^ a b Gausten, Joel (12 November 2013). "Embracing the Warrior: A Chat with Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 19 February 2015. “I got a phone call at 8:30am one morning from Ian saying he’d woken up with the idea that I would join them ‘virtually’ on stage,” she recalls. “With Ian, you just say yes and see where his idea develops. He came up with the whole idea and asked if my husband would appear [in the Skype video] as the Frogman. Ian’s a crazy genius. But a serious crazy genius.” 
  5. ^ "Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  6. ^ "Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Sue Carroll (2008-10-14). "Violinist Anna Phoebe praises her newsman Gavin Esler". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  9. ^ Tim Walker (2011-12-20). "Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler has a baby by Anna Phoebe". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 

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