Artist Picture

Eric Nowlin


Principal, Julie and Ed Levy, Jr. Chair

DSO member since 2016

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Nowlin's performance of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was described by Classical Source as "outstanding…his distinctive timbre and sovereign musicianship at one with Slatkin’s perfectly paced account…totally compelling."

Past accomplishments include receiving second prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Competition, first prize in the Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Performances have included solo engagements with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony in Missouri, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico.

Nowlin is the violist of the Juno and Opus Award-winning New Orford String Quartet. Other chamber music activities have included participating in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. He was a regular member of the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City and toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Nowlin was previously the Associate Principal Viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has served as Guest Principal Viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Nowlin is the Assistant Professor of Viola at Michigan State University and has previously been an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as well as Instructor of Viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada.

Nowlin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Nowlin plays on a 1757 J.B. Guadagnini viola on generous loan from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as a viola from 1910 made by Giovanni Pistucci and a viola made by Sam Zygmuntowicz made in 2019.