Erica Ward has dedicated her career as a chamber musician, educator, and entrepreneur to forging out new sustainable paths in the classical music industry.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Erica is the founder and director of the Alameda String Academy. In her blog BackstageForum, she writes about musical entrepreneurship, teaching, and adapting to change. Her goal is to help equip artists with skills that enable them to thrive in a rapidly changing world -- and thus shape the future of classical music.
Erica loves to play chamber music, especially anything by Beethoven. After her studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she went on to graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she dedicated an entire year to learning and performing the ten Beethoven violin sonatas. This deep-dive into the mind of a single composer has significantly impacted how she interprets any piece she plays.
“Music teaches us compassion and empathy like nothing else can. A piece of music is so much more than just what one hears in a moment before it floats away… it’s a clash of history, of culture, personal circumstances, one’s concept of beauty and pain. There is infinite context reflected in the situation of the composer, in the interpretation of the artist, and in the ears of the hearer.”
This compassion and empathy through music gets to the heart of every creative project Erica participates in. You will hear it in the presentation of her performances, whether in the realms of contemporary pop, new music, multi-media collaborations, or traditional orchestra settings.