American pianist and composer Eric McElroy has performed throughout the United States and Europe, garnering numerous awards at both state and national competitions.
A committed advocate for lesser-known repertoire, Eric has given regional premieres of pieces by American and British composers, including John Ireland, Arnold Bax, William Baines, and Lord Berners. As a collaborative pianist he has performed in some of Europe’s most distinguished concert halls, notably the Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Birmingham Town Hall, Symphony Hall, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
In addition to presenting traditional programs, Eric has explored various alternatives to the standard concert format, and he has designed a number of themed lecture-recitals which explore the cultural and historical intersections of music with other fields such as history, literature, and poetry. Recent examples of this are his programs “Sounds of the American Piano” and “The Slaughter of the Times: English Piano Music and the First World War”, the latter of which was premiered at the Robert Graves Society annual conference at Oxford University (St. John’s College) in 2016. Eric’s wide-ranging interests in academia have led to several scholarly projects, and he is currently preparing selected manuscripts by English composer William Baines for publication in 2020.
In addition to his extensive involvement in 20th century repertoire, Eric is a proponent of the music of living composers. He has worked on many occasions with student composers and has also participated in masterclasses and concerts with some of the leading composers of our time including Frederic Rzewski, Lowell Liebermann, John Joubert, Howard Skempton, Ian Venables, Edwin Roxburgh, and HK Gruber. In 2014, he was a featured pianist in a concert of electro-acoustic compositions by Karlheinz Essl.
As a composer himself, Eric’s catalogue includes works for solo piano, solo voice, and various chamber ensembles, and his works have been performed in Germany, Austria, Spain, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. In 2015, Eric won the prestigious Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Composition Competition and was invited to premiere a solo piano work at the MTNA National Convention in Las Vegas. Since 2014, he remains the only person ever to have won the Washington State Music Association Competition, the highest award for collegiate pianists in the state of Washington, in both piano and composition. He has become known for his song-settings of contemporary poets, including collaborations with Gregory Leadbetter, Grevel Lindop, W.S. Merwin, and Ruth Fainlight.
After earning his Bachelor’s degree (Honors) with Gerald Berthiaume at Washington State University on a full-tuition scholarship, Eric moved to Vienna, Austria where he obtained a Master’s degree under Klaus Sticken at Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien. He was the only pianist of his graduating class to pass with full honors (mit Auszeichnung bestanden). In 2017, Eric completed an Advanced Diploma in Professional Performance with distinction at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied with Mark Bebbington and Margaret Fingerhut. He is a doctoral candidate and Tutor in Music at the University of Oxford (Merton College).
Visit www.eric-mcelroy.com/ to find out more.
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