Meet Eric Lewis
Eric Lewis, violinist, teacher, composer, essayist, conductor, recording artist, music director, chamber coach.
A native New Yorker, violinist Eric Lewis earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance at the Manhattan School of Music. With encouragement from his teachers, violinist Rachmael Weinstock and world-renowned violist Lillian Fuchs, Mr. Lewis launched his own concert career in 1968 with the formation of the new Manhattan String Quartet. With Lewis as first violin, the group was soon known to classical music lovers the world over. Their residency at Music Mountain, the chamber music center in Falls Village, Connecticut, brought his activities recognition as music director, teacher and first violinist of the international radio concert series from 1981 to ’89. Mr. Lewis served as U.S cultural ambassador to the former Soviet Union during the Glasnost era of the 1980's, performing throughout that country until its dissolution in 1990. The Manhattan String Quartet’s recording of the Shostakovich Quartet Cycle was the only chamber music to be named by Time magazine in its best of 1991 classical list. He retired from the Manhattan Quartet in 2013 after 45 years as founder and first violinist.
Prof. Lewis, is now a professor emeritus of the music faculty at Western Connecticut State University. He was for thirty-five years teacher of violin and viola; director of chamber music and conductor of the WCSU orchestra. Prof. Lewis continues his association with the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City as professor of chamber music. He was instrumental in the formation of the Charles Ives Center for the Performing Arts, Danbury, Ct. beginning in 1978 with pianist Howard Tuvelle and singer Marian Anderson. In recent years Mr. Lewis has broadened his concert and recording, performing with the several innovative ensembles, composing, and writing essays about music and its importance in human health. He is a founding member of Prometheus Ensemble (piano quintet); Delphi, a soprano and violin duo and the Elysium Chamber Orchestra where he is both conductor and violin soloist. Mr. Lewis is committed to bringing great music into the lives of school children and to date has performed more than a thousand young people's concerts. His musical compositions range from solo, chamber works to composing projects reflecting Mr. Lewis’ diverse holistic interests such as cinematic sound tracks (Migration: the Journey of Mongolian Reindeer Herders Documentary) and a Lullaby Requiem for the children victims of violence. He is co-director of the Lewisonian School for Strings in Danbury, Connecticut where he makes his home with violinist/teacher Katherine Dorn Lewis.