Headshots by Ruta Kuzmickas

Headshots by Ruta Kuzmickas

biography

Erin Graham is a composer of contemporary classical music and an active percussionist.  She seeks to explore concepts of visceral energy, unconventional forms, and elements of humor by incorporating abstractions of familiar rhythmic idioms into her music.

A first-year PhD student in Composition at UC San Diego, Erin has worked with highly-regarded performers such as Amy Williams, Tony Arnold, Robert Black, Nunc, Deviant Septet, Escape Ten percussion duo, and members of the Houston Symphony.  Erin’s upcoming projects include an interdisciplinary collaboration with saxophonist Gail Levinsky and poet Stalina Villarreal as well as commissions from Frozen Earth percussion duo and West Shore Symphony Orchestra.

Erin received Rice University’s Paul and Christiane Cooper Prize in Music Composition for her orchestra piece, Increase in 2019. In 2018, Erin was commissioned to write a piece for soprano Julie Moore and members of the Houston Symphony in collaboration with poet Stalina Villarreal as part of the Houston Symphony’s Resilient Sounds Project. In 2015, Erin won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for her chamber work, Five Poems of Edward Lear.  She was also the recipient of Eastman School of Music’s Louis Lane Prize and a finalist in the BMI Student Composer Awards. Erin’s composition teachers include Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Patrick Long.

An enthusiastic performer, Erin was awarded the Milton Schlesinger Percussion Prize in 2016.  She appeared as a soloist with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble in May 2017. Erin has toured with the Eastman Philharmonia, and also has worked with conductor Brad Lubman in the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, where she performed works by Boulez, Birtwistle, and Hurel. Additionally, she has performed in many student-run new music ensembles, including Ensemble id and Sound ExChange at Eastman and recently with Hear and Now at Rice University.  Erin's percussion teachers include Michael Burritt, James Ross, W. Lee Vinson, and Charles Ross.

 As a Brown Fellow, Erin taught advanced music theory and aural skills classes to high school students as part of the Shepherd School of Music’s Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program. An avid educator, Erin has also taught percussion lessons as part of Susquehanna University’s Preparatory Program. Erin holds a Master of Music in Composition from Rice University and a Bachelor of Music with distinction in both Composition and Percussion as well as a Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music.