The Musicians Play On…Erika Compton

I began to study the cello in elementary school in the Newington (CT) public school music program. When I was a junior in high school, my family moved to Pittsburgh. There I became a student of the principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Michael Grebanier. Shortly after that I became principal cell of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. 

I gained my conservatory training at the Cleveland Institute of Music. There I studied the solo repertoire with Alan Harris, a distinguished professor of cello. I studied the orchestral repertoire with the principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Stephen Geber. During the summer months I participated in the Aspen Music Festival and worked as a free-lance cellist in Cleveland.

In 1982 I won the position of principal cello of the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra. During my years in Charleston, I performed as soloist with both the Charleston and Florence Symphonies, and I co-founded the Charleston Symphony String Quartet, which hosted its own concert series at the College of Charleston. I also performed regularly as assistant principal cellist with the Savanah Symphony, and for two seasons I performed as a principal cellist in the Spoleto Festival, and as a section cellist in the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.

In addition to enjoying teaching private lessons at home, I taught cello at The College of Charleston, and I was on the faculty of Symphony School of America. My love of teaching has never left me, and I would like to begin offering private lessons to aspiring  cellists.

I am delighted to have joined the CVSO in 2015, and I am truly looking forward to making music again, and in person, with the members of the CVSO.

I have been lucky enough to have a job that was not affected the Covid-19 pandemic, so I have never left the workplace. I have been spending a lot of time practicing and was motivated to learn all of the movements of the Bach Six Suites that I not learned in school…so far I’ve checked only three off of my list, but it’s a long summer! The piece I have enjoyed most during the shut-down is the piece that inspired me to tackle the balance of the Cello Suites – the Prelude to the Third Bach Cello Suite. I hope you enjoy listening to it here.