Elisabeth Pawelke studied voice and historical harp at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (University of Early Music) in Basle and at the Trossingen University of Music from which she graduated with a Master of Early Music degree. In addition she took singing lessons with Gundula Anders, Eric Mentzel and attended master classes given, et al., by Emma Kirkby. The scope of her repertoire comprises especially early music from the Middle Ages to Baroque, art song as well as traditional music, and musical. She also studied music pedagogy, musicology, and early German linguistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and on a scholarship at the Basle University graduating with a Master of Arts degree. Besides she is also an academic speech and voice therapist. She is presently doing her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum of the University Augsburg, Institute for Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy.
Elisabeth Pawelke performed with various early music ensembles such as Almara, RicciCapricci, Egeria, Estampie, The Muses' Fellows, VocaMe, and Faun. She sang and played at renowned festivals and concerts in Germany and Europe, such as The Oude Muziek Festival in Utrecht (The Netherlands), The International Messiaen Week in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Trollhättans Tidig Musik Dagar (Sweden), in the Arena van Vletingen in Gent (Belgium), the Bachtage at Wiblingen Monastery, as well as at festivals in Italy, Hungary, and Spain. She gave concerts et al., at the 150th throne anniversary of King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the Munich Residence and at the 350th anniversary of Nymphenburg Palace. She also sang in various choirs for Gregorian chant and medieval monody. She performs at concerts with various solo programmes, accompanying her singing on her harps. Together with lutenist Christine Riessner she revived English, German and Spanish lute songs of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as in ensemble the music of Bach, Handel, Purcell, and Bernier. By order of the Bavarian Administration of Palaces, Gardens and Lakes she acted as musicological advisor for the musical conception of the Historical Museum Cadolzburg and recorded pieces from the Schedel Songbook. This led to a new album with the ensemble Amara which was published by the label Naxos at the end of 2020. A CD with works by the composer Thomas Selle (1599-1663) with the ensemble The Muses' fellows was also published on the label Coviello Classics in 2021.
With the group Faun Elisabeth Pawelke recorded five CDs and two DVDs (et. al. in cooperation with Chris Blair/Abbey Road Studios London), to which she made significant contributions to composition and production. Following the publication of the CD "Outros Amores" with her ensemble Amara she, together with the ensemble VocaMe, sang hymns of Kassia, a composer and poetess in 9th century Byzantium, for a CD by the label Christophorus. With the ensemble RicciCapricci she published the CD "Perla mya cara", focussing on Italian and Spanish Renaissance and early Baroque music. A review in the paper "Rheinpfalz" reads:
"The wonderful voice of Elisabeth Pawelke equals the clarity of a pearl. The musical balance between the vocal filigree of her flawless soprano and the natural melodic flow fascinates in each phrase."
The "Südwestpresse" (June 10, 2014) wrote on the performance of this programme:
"With Elisabeth Pawelke the ensemble RicciCapricci crown themselves. Instrumentally accompanied vocal solos and musical dialogues, the so-called "concertare" defines the new music of the Early Baroque. The singer presented herself with a mature voice control and a captivating presence. Convincing was her imploring singing as in Claudio Monteverdi's "Sì dolce è 'l tormento”, transparent and virtuoso the vocal ornamentation when reciting songs by Giulio Caccini, an illustrious singing teacher of his time."
“The songs in Schedel's songbook reflect, especially linguistically, late medieval gusto. This allows the interpretation of some pieces by the singer Elisabeth Pawelke and her ensemble Almara to feel harmoniously. [...] Elisabeth Pawelke is at least as familiar with this area as she is with singing, because she also studied medieval German. [...] Really predulcis, the educated humanist would say."