The work of composer Eric Choate has been lauded by Examiner.com as "music to grab the listener's attention through novelty and hold it through technical discipline." He has several awards to his name, including First Prize in the SFCM Art Song Composition Competition for his setting of "My Papa's Waltz," as well as First Prize in the Vancouver Chamber Choir Composition Competition for his anthem, "Now Cheer Our Hearts." He has received commissions from Brian Thorsett, One Great City Duo, One Found Sound, and others, and frequently works with the Guerrilla Composer's Guild, resulting in collaborations with the Areon Flutes and International Low Brass Trio.conductor
In the summer of 2016, Eric prepared the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the SF Symphony, and in 2017, returned to conduct the off-stage women for Holst's "The Planets." He is Assistant Director of the Conservatory Chorus at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, which recently involved a collaboration with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra for performances of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms. For three years, Eric was Assistant Conductor of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra; highlights of this engagement included conducting a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Ypres, Belgium with the West-Flanders Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting such works as Dvorak's "Stabat Mater," Cherubini's Requiem, and Britten's "War Requiem." Eric currently serves as Director of Music at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco.organist/pianist
Eric is a recitalist and often works collaboratively with other artists for performances and auditions, provides vocal coaching, and prepares weekly musical offerings in liturgical contexts. Graduating with Departmental Distinction, Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in Composition from St. Olaf College, where he studied with Timothy Mahr and Justin Merritt. He was awarded a fellowship to study harmony and counterpoint at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France; from this, he graduated with Honorable Mentions in Harmony and Solfege. He then went on to earn a Master of Music with David Conte at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.upcoming
Jan. 24, 7:30PM, Mouthscape performs for the Centennial Concert of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Eric conducts works by Conrad Susa and Mari Valverde. Location: San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Feb. 1 and 2, 8PM, Eric serves as Chorus Master for Berkeley Symphony concert featuring Getty's "Joan and the Bells." Location: Zellerbach Hall (Feb. 1), San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Feb. 2).
Feb. 10, 3PM, Winnie Nip and Paul Dab perform selection from Eric's song cycle, "Charmes." Location: The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
April 5, 8PM, Sopra Duo CD release concert, including Eric's "A Dream Within A Dream." Location: Center for New Music.recent
Oct. 28, St. Mark's Lutheran Church: Eric conducts Bach's "Reformation Cantata" with combined choirs of St. Mark's and St. Mary's to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Nov. 2, The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin: Eric conducts Durufle's Requiem with the combined Parish Choir of St. Mary's and Lacuna Arts Chorale; Jonathan Dimmock will be the organist.
Oct. 7: Brian Thorsett, tenor performs on the Candlelight Concert Series, featuring Eric's song cycle for tenor, 'cello, and piano, "…and fall."
Sept. 24: Eric conducts St. Mary's Parish Choir for Evensong featuring the music of Byron Adams and David Conte.
July 22: Eric conducts offstage SF Symphony Chorus for Holst's "The Planets."
July 16: Eric conducts combined Evensong with St. Mary's Parish Choir and the Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge.
Photo credit: Bill Hocker