Eric Nowlin began his time with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Principal Violist with the 2016-17 season. He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Eric has been described by the Springfield (MO) News-Leader as “having a full, warm tone, expressive phrasing, and effortless technical command” and by the Santa Cruz Sentinel as “displaying the remarkable capabilities of the viola, with a rich tone and sensitive interpretive skills.”
Past accomplishments include second prize in the 2006 Walter W. Naumburg competition; first prize in the 2003 Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the 2002 Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the 2001 Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the 2001 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition.
Eric previously served as Associate Principal Viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the New Orford String Quartet. Hailed by CBC as “Canada’s top string quartet,” the New Orford String Quartet has won several Opus awards, and was nominated for a Juno award in 2012. The quartet has recorded for Bridge records, Naxos Canada, and can be seen in a series of videos produced by CBC playing quartets by Beethoven, Brahms, and Haydn. The New Orford Quartet has recently had successful debuts in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, and Dallas, and performs throughout Canada and the United States on a yearly basis.
Eric’s performances have included solo engagements with the Juilliard Orchestra, Springfield Symphony in Missouri, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico. He has been featured as soloist or chamber musician on radio on NPR, CBC, WQXR in New York, WGBH in Boston, WFMT in Chicago, and on television programs in Wisconsin and California. He has participated in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. Previous chamber music appearances include performances with the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, plus tours with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute.
Eric has served as a guest principal with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland’s Citymusic, and New York City’s Metropolis Ensemble; and played as an extra with the New York Philharmonic from 2005-2008.
In addition to solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances, Eric enjoys teaching at a variety of institutions. He is an Assistant Professor of Viola at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, and has taught at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec, as well as several other festivals in Canada.
Eric was chosen as the recipient of a Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation Grant in 2004—an award intended for the advancement of young artist’s performance careers. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes.
Eric plays on a Neapolitan viola from 1910 made by Giovanni Pistucci.