Eric Edberg is a critically acclaimed classical and improvising cellist, concert organizer, workshop leader, and drum circle facilitator committed to connecting and enlivening people through music. Founder and artistic director of the Greencastle (Indiana) Summer Music Festival, which for ten years has “brought the community together with friends making music for friends,” he has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Dedicated to music as a healing force and to bringing classical music to nontraditional locations, Edberg has played in nursing homes, schools, hospitals, prisons and even the New York City subways. At DePauw University, where he is the Cassel Grubb Professor of Music, he coaches of one of the country’s few non-jazz improvisation ensembles and teaches courses on music entrepreneurship and innovative concert presentation. Edberg attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and also studied at Juilliard, Peabody, SUNY Stony Brook, and Florida State University.
In experiments to reach new audiences, Eric has presented a standing-room-only “classical music in jeans” recital in which the audience could clap at any time and dance in the aisles if they wanted (and many did), organized a late-night, candlelit, “lie-down” performance of the Bach Goldberg Variations in which the college-aged audience brought sleeping bags and blankets, and an in-the-dark concert of the Messiaen “Quartet for the End of Time.”
Students in Eric’s DePauw courses on the creative process, concert presentation, and audience building have organized and produced multi-genre, club-style concerts, an in-the-round fundraising concert, and a campus folk/rock festival. His idiom-combing improvisation students form one of the country’s first non-jazz performing improvising ensembles, and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Empowering Self Expression
A community drum circle facilitator, Eric leads workshops in which young people learn to lead drum circles as a way of developing leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of supportive community. He has presented his workshop “Expressing Yourself Through Sound: Improvisation for Everyone” at numerous universities.
Eric has played concertos, recitals, and chamber music concerts throughout the country, in Europe, and China. He has been the principal cellist of the Annapolis and Terre Haute symphony orchestras, and performs regularly with the DePauw Chamber Players. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, Juilliard, Peabody, SUNY Stony Brook, and Florida State. His teachers included Laura Sias, Nelson Cooke, Gary Hoffman, Marion Davies, Denis Brott, Channing Robbins, Leonard Rose, Bernard Greenhouse, and Roger Drinkall. He had extensive coaching from violinist Berl Senofsky, and spent the fall semester of 2010 observing Janos Starker. He is a graduate of the Music for People Music and Leadership Program (improvisation techniques and facilitation) and has been trained in drum circle facilitation by Arthur Hull.