26-year old violist Erika Gray has been captivating audiences worldwide for nearly two decades, praised for her rich sound and charismatic stage presence. She is a sought-after chamber player and orchestral musician, appearing as a substitute in major orchestras across North America. She has performed internationally in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Moscow Conservatory, Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Helsinki Music Centre.
In February 2017, Erika was the featured viola soloist “Sancho Panza” in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s performances of Don Quixote alongside her friend and colleague Oliver Herbert performing as “Don Quixote”. She joined the National Symphony Orchestra in May 2019 for their performances of Liszt’s Dante Symphony and Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Carnegie Hall. She has appeared at the BBC Proms on the Royal Albert Hall stage with Maestro Valery Gergiev leading the National Youth Orchestra. At the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, she held the assistant principal violist position as the youngest member of the orchestra and spent winter break of 2013 at the New York String Orchestra Seminar in Carnegie Hall.
Erika spent the past two summers at Music from Angel Fire, bringing classical music to the schools in the Northern New Mexico area. She attended the Verbier Academy and Kneisel Hall chamber programs working closely with esteemed faculty members and studying the chamber music repertoire in depth. She has performed chamber music with renowned artists such as Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, and Meng-Chieh Liu.
Erika competed in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition held at the Colburn School in LA. She was a 4th prize winner at the 2015 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, finalist in the 2015 Stulberg International String Competition, and 2nd prize winner in the 2013 Salomé Young Artists Competition. Her string quartet, Quartet Stracciatella, won the gold medal in the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition junior division.
Erika is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Roberto Díaz and Hsin-Yun Huang, and held the Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Fellowship. In her 4th year, she rose to the position of principal viola of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, having previously toured Europe with the orchestra as assistant principal.
She frequently subs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. She traveled to Cambodia in December 2019 as a part of Midori’s International Community Engagement Program where she taught in different outreach settings as well as performed in concerts with the ICEP quartet. In June 2022, she will be back working with the ICEP quartet, this time in Japan!
Erika performs on a 2011 Gary Garavaglia viola from the William Harris Lee shop in Chicago.