about eric choate
Award-winning composer Eric Choate "commands a highly inventive approach to the interleaving of polyphonic voices" (Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio), and his compositions have been lauded as "music to grab the listener's attention through novelty and hold it through technical discipline" (Examiner.com). His works have been performed internationally by renowned artists including VOCES8, musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, American Bach Soloists, Frederica von Stade, Johann Vexo, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Brian Thorsett, Emil Miland, John Churchwell, Friction Quartet, Areon Flutes, One Found Sound, and others. His music is published by E.C. Schirmer and Augsburg Fortress.
Eric is in demand as a choral and orchestral conductor, having prepared choruses for the San Francisco Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony. In 2019, Eric was appointed 10th Artistic Director of the GRAMMY Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus, who under his direction has performed with the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, and Apollo5. Highlights of his engagement as Assistant Conductor of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra include conducting performances of Verdi's Requiem
in Ypres, Belgium with the Oost-Vlaams Symfonisch Orkest, Bach's Passion According to St. John
, Britten's War Requiem
, Dvořák's Stabat Mater
, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms
, and Cherubini's Requiem
. 2022 conducting engagements include the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus
, preparing the San Francisco Boys Chorus for performances with the San Francisco Symphony, and a European tour with the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
Eric is professor of Choral and Organ music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As Assistant Director of the Conservatory Chorus, he has helped prepare the ensemble to perform with Philharmonia Orchestra of London (Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor), the California Symphony (Donato Cabrera, conductor), and numerous performances with the Conservatory Orchestra.
An active organ recitalist, Eric possesses an Associate Certificate from the American Guild of Organists. He is an active member of both the AGO and the Association of Anglican Musicians and currently serves as Director of Music at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
Graduating with Departmental Distinction, Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theory and 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 which he graduated with Honorable Mentions in Harmony and Solfege. He holds a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with David Conte.
23 April, 2022, 7:30 p.m.: SFCM Conservatory Orchestra performs Mahler's Symphony no. 3
, for which Eric will serve as chorus master, featuring San Francisco Boys Chorus and Conservatory Chorus.
6 May, 2022, 7:00 p.m.: San Francisco Symphony
performs Carl Orff's Carmina Burna
, featuring the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
4 June, 2022: San Francisco Boys Chorus spring concert. Tickets available soon.
6 June, 2022: Eric prepares the chorus for the Gothenburg Symphony
in a concert for Swedish National Day.
20 August, 2022: Eric prepares the chorus for the Gothenburg Symphony
for Harry Potter 3
with live accompaniment.
20 March, 2022, 4:00 p.m.: Eric conducts San Francisco Boys Chorus in an all Fauré concert with guest artist, Joy-Leliani Garbutt, organ. Tickets available here
December 17-18: Eric conducts Bach's Cantata 147
and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols
with the San Francisco Boys Chorus
December 4th, 2021: Conservatory Chorus concert, freaturing Vivaldi's Gloria
and Vaughan Williams' Frantasia on Christmas Carols
. Location: San Francsico Conservatory of Music.
November 13, 2021: A Call to Remembrance: Eric's Keep Watch, Dear Lord
is featured in this service, in the company of Purcell's Funeral Music of Queen Mary
and Todd Jolly's Funeral Sentences.
Location: St. John's Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA.
November 5th, 2021: The Choir of Brown University
, under the direction of Fred Jodry, gives the premiere of Eric's setting of Whitman's Text, "This is What You Shall Do."
November 2nd, 2021: Eric conducts Fauré's Requiem with St. Mary's Parish Choir and Jonathan Dimmock, organ. Location: The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
October 26th, 2021: Eric performs works by Frank Tours and Eric Choate with Brian Thorsett, tenor and John Irrera, violin. Location: Capistrano Concert Hall, California State University, Sacramento.
October 27th, 2021: Eric performs works by Frank Tours and Eric Choate with Brian Thorsett, tenor and John Irrera, violin. Location: Concert Hall of San Jose State University.
October 24th, 2021: Eric conducts a concert of works by David Conte and Byron Adams, featuring Ellen Leslie, soprano. Location: The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
October 10th, 2021: St. Mary's Parish Choir premieres Eric's Choral Compline
. Location: Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
October 3rd, 2021: Solo organ recital at Trinity-St. Peter's Church in San Francisco
September 19th, 2021: Eric conducts Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings
and Holst's St. Paul's Suite
with St. Mary's Chamber Orchestra. Location: Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
September 18th, 2021: Choir of Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento performs Eric's Beloved, Let us Love
for the installation of The Very Rev. Matthew Woodward. Location: Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento
June 5th, 2021: San Francisco Boys Chorus Spring Virtual Concert.
March 21st, 2021: VOCES8
sings Eric's "Keep Watch, Dear Lord" as part of Singing London
December 25th, 2020: Christmas Day Organ Recital at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
February 21st, 2020: San Francisco Boys Chorus performs with Apollo5
February 9th, 2020: Eric performs organ recital on the Second Sunday Organ Recital Series. Works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bach, and Choate. Location: St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Berkeley.
January 19th, 2020: Ellen Leslie and Eric Choate perform a recital of art song on the Candlelight Concert Series at St. Mary the Virgin.
December 20th, 2019: Eric conducts Britten's A Ceremony of Carols
with the San Francisco Boys Chorus. Location: St. Ignatius Church.
December 3 & 6, 2019: Eric serves as chorusmaster for San Francisco Symphony's performance of It's a Wonderful Life
with live orchestral accompaniment.
November 24, 2019: The Senior Choir of First Congregational Church (Northfield Minnesota) performs Eric's newly commissioned anthem, A Choral Benediction
, to honor Theo Wee's 50 years of music ministry.
November 16, 2019: SFCM Conservatory Chorus performs Fauré's Requiem
November 10, 2019: Eric performs a solo organ recital on the Second Sunday Organ Series at Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco.
November 2, 2019: Eric conducts Duruflé's Requiem
with St. Mary's Parish Choir and Jonathan Dimmock, organist.
August 30, 2019: Brian Thorsett, tenor, Alan weinstein, cello, and Eric Choate, piano, perform an evening of works including Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915,
and Choate's …and fall.
May 31, 2019: Ellen Leslie and Eric Choate perform an evening recital of French, English, and American Art Songs in a salon hosted by Davidson Bidwell-Waite and Edwin Waite.
May 12, 2019: Eric performs as organist for Vierne's Messe Solennelle with the Choir of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Michael Conley, director.
May 4, 2019: Jane Spencer Mills and Ian Scarfe perform art songs by Eric at Holy Innocent's Episcopal Church.
April 29, 2019: Combined forces from San Francisco Symphony, American Bach Soloists, Grace Cathedral's Choir of Men and Boys, Frederica von Stade, and Johann Vexo perform Eric's newly composed Ave Maria
at a Notre-Dame solidarity concert at Grace Cathedral.
March 17, 2019: Eric conducts combined choirs from Calvary Presbyterian Church and SF Conservatory in a performance of David Conte's September Sun
and plays organ for Arvo Pärt's Passio.
Feb. 23, 2019: Emil Miland, 'cello, Ellen Leslie, soprano, and Eric Choate, piano perform on St. Mary's Candlelight Concert Series.
Jan. 14, 2019: Ellen Leslie, soprano, and Eric Choate, piano, perform works by Severac and Choate on Boris Goldmund's The Monthly Salon.
Dec. 9, 2018: Eric Choate and Ragnar Bohlin conduct San Francisco Conservatory Chorus featuring music of the German Romantics.
Nov. 10, 2018: Brian Thorsett, tenor and Eric Choate, piano perform a new work by Eric, Schumann's Dichterliebe
and Barber's Knoxville, Summer 1915.
on St. Mary's Candlelight Concert Series.
Nov. 1, 2018: Eric conducts Fauré's Messe de Requiem
on the Eve of All Souls' with St. Mary's Parish Choir and Jonathan Dimmock, organ.
Oct. 28, 2018: Michael Hendron, harmonium and Eric Choate, piano. Location: Grace Cathedral
May 10, 2018: Eric conducts his Three Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas
along with other works by local composers with Mouthscape.
April 5, 2018: Sopra Duo CD release concert, including Eric's A Dream Within A Dream.
March 17 and 18, 2018: Eric serves as Assistant Chorus Master for the California Symphony's performance of Mozart's Requiem,
and Pärt's Te Deum.
Donato Cabrera and Ragnar Bohlin, conducting.
Feb. 25, 2018: Brian Thorsett performs on Noe Valley Chamber Music, and premieres a new work by Eric, Those Winter Sundays.
Feb. 25, 2018: Eric conducts works by local composers with Mouthscape at Hot Air Music Festival (San Francisco Conservatory of Music).
Feb. 10, 2018: Winnie Nip and Paul Dab perform selection from Eric's song cycle, Charmes.
Feb. 1 and 2, 2018: Eric serves as Chorus Master for Berkeley Symphony concert featuring Getty's Joan and the Bells.
Jan. 24, 2018: Mouthscape performs for the Centennial Concert of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Eric conducts works by Conrad Susa and Mari Valverde.
Nov. 2, 2017: Eric conducts Duruflé's Requiem
with the combined Parish Choir of St. Mary's and Lacuna Arts Chorale; Jonathan Dimmock, organist.
Oct. 28, 2017: St. Mark's Lutheran Church: Eric conducts Bach's Reformation Cantata
with combined choirs of St. Mark's and St. Mary's.
Oct. 7, 2017: Brian Thorsett, tenor performs on the Candlelight Concert Series, featuring Eric's song cycle for tenor, 'cello, and piano, …and fall.
July 22, 2017: Eric conducts offstage SF Symphony Chorus for Holst's The Planets.
July 16, 2017: Eric conducts combined Evensong with St. Mary's Parish Choir and the Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge.
Photo credit: Bill Hocker