Professor of Music
Eric Lewis was born in New York City and received his early violin training at the Manhattan School of Music. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance, studying with Rachmael Weinstock, first violinist of the 1930’s version of the Manhattan String Quartet. Chamber music coaches, Weinstock and the world renowned violist Lillian Fuchs, launched his concert career with the formation of the Manhattan String Quartet in 1968 as the resident ensemble of the Manhattan School of Music. Since then the quartet [MSQ], with Mr. Lewis as its first violinist, has become well known as a premier touring and recording ensemble to classical music lovers all over the world – North and South America, Europe, Russia, China, and Japan. He was U.S. cultural ambassador to the former Soviet Union during the Glosnost era of the 1980’s giving concerts and teaching with the MSQ in all of the states of the Soviet Union just before its dissolution in 1990. Critically acclaimed recordings of his performances with the MSQ are available on Musical Heritage Society, Centaur, Newport Classics, KOCH International, ESS.A.Y and SONY Classics. The quartet was recognized by TIME magazine for their traversal of the Shostakovich String Quartets as the “Best classical recordings of 1991”. Also during the period of the 1980’s he gave concerts to an international audience over a network of 150 radio stations from the Music Mountain Chamber Music Center in Falls Village, CT. He was the music director there from 1981-1989.
Professor Eric Lewis has been on the Western Connecticut State University music department faculty for thirty years. In 1978, pianist Howard Tuvelle, WCSU professor emeritus and Marian Anderson asked Mr. Lewis to join them in the formation of the Charles Ives Center for the Performing Arts at WestConn. Ever since then he has been as director of chamber music and orchestral studies teaching string students, chamber music, classes in music history and theory, and conducting the WCSU Orchestra.
Mr. Lewis also maintains a busy teaching schedule wherever he travels training young violinists and professional ensembles for performing careers. He has a major commitment to bring great music into the lives of school children and has given so far, over a 1000 young people’s concerts especially for children.