B i o g r a p h y
Eric Starr is a third generation musician from Western New York. A multitalented artist, Starr has worked as a composer, percussionist, pianist, author and educator for most of his life.
As a composer, Starr has received four prestigious Meet the Composer grants, a Utah Arts Council grant, NEA Foundation grants and more. In 2007, the premiere of his suite for saxophone and strings received a standing ovation at The Lighthouse: Poole's Centre for the Arts (UK) featuring world renowned saxophonist, Iain Ballamy.
In October of 2018 Starr's Twelve Pieces for Solo Piano and "Movement I: Time" from Between the Sandhills and the Sea were performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Earlier in March of 2018, Twelve Pieces was premiered at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY. Both performances featured pianist Michelle Alvarado and "Movement I: Time" was performed by Alvarado with cellist Hannah Holman.
Starr's jazz band, The Eric Starr Group, has released two critically acclaimed albums and his group has performed at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, among other venues. His albums have received international radio play and rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine, The Jazz Journal, Jazzwise Magazine, the All Music Guide and over a dozen additional publications worldwide. Brian Morton, publisher of the Penguin Guide to Jazz called his album Such Is Life “One of my favorite releases of the year.” Iconic drummer, Bill Bruford, called Eric “an extremely welcome new addition to the club [of percussionist composers]” and famed composer Steve Reich wrote, “I’m impressed with the directness of Eric’s music and the craft with which he has written it. His music would appeal to a wide variety of listeners.”
As an author and educator, Starr has written five books about music for Adams Media, Inc. Two of them have been translated into Spanish. In 2010, Starr was a featured speaker at Loyola University New Orleans' Beiver Guest Lecturer Series. Since 1995, he has also appeared as a guest artist and clinician at colleges and universities throughout the country. Most recently, he was invited to speak at the Center for New Music, University of Iowa.
Starr has also written several plays, including Ghost Dance, a dramatic work that centers around indigenous life in the 20th century. Artemis Preeshl's 1999 production at Expanded Arts (NYC) starred Ted Minos and then up-and-coming Lakota actor Chaske Spencer.
Starr currently resides in the Hudson Valley with his two children, Iain and Delia.