Principal Viola, Julie and Ed Levy, Jr. Chair
DSO member since 2016
Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Eric's performance of Berlioz’ 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, 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.
Eric 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 also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Eric was previously the Associate Principal viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has served as guest principal viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.
Eric is Assistant Professor of Viola at Michigan State University, and has previously been Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, as well as Instructor of Viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada.
He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Eric 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.