Anna Phoebe

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Anna Phoebe
Born Anna Phoebe McElligott
(1981-02-18) 18 February 1981 (age 36)
Spouse(s) Gavin Esler
Musical career
Years active 2001–present
Associated acts

Anna Phoebe (born Anna Phoebe McElligott,[1] 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.

Early life and education[edit]

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]


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.[4] 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 with 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][5] In 2012 she participated in their Thick As A Brick 1&2 tour, jamming onscreen nightly with Anderson remotely via Skype.[6]

In 2009 she started working at the internet rock & metal station, TotalRock, as a stand-in DJ.[citation needed] In Summer 2010 she toured festivals with Roxy Music playing violin and keyboards.[citation needed] She toured with Jon Lord as his violinist, with performances in Russia and Sicily, and after his death took part in the tribute Sunflower Jam which was held at Royal Albert Hall in July 2011.[7]

Trans-Siberian Orchestra[edit]

Phoebe first joined the TSO West Coast Band in 2004. She was invited back for 2005-07 seasons, making her the first String Director and Soloist to return for a forth year running, and returned in 2008 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. 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". [8]

Solo career[edit]

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

Personal life[edit]

Phoebe is married to BBC news presenter Gavin Esler, his second wife.[9] They have two children.[citation needed]



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

Trans Siberian Orchestra[edit]

Oi Va Voi[edit]


  1. ^ "Anna Phoebe McElligott". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  2. ^ "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. ^ "Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  5. ^ "Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  6. ^ 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.” 
  7. ^ "The Sunflower Jam". Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "News, Anna Phoebe". Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler has a baby by Anna Phoebe". Daily Telegraph. 

External links[edit]