Photo by Terri Josephs

BIO

Translating everyday life into music is at the heart of Erica Ball’s whimsical and playful works. With an affinity for layered complexity, Erica’s music portrays clouds building up on the horizon as a summer thunderstorm approaches or the busy sounds of passengers in a subway station. In her choral work, the fog, the phrase “little cat feet” begins as droplets of water and morphs into a rain shower. Inspired by the natural world, a childhood spent dreaming of becoming a ballerina, and studies of 20th-century American avant-garde music, Erica is equally at home writing lyrical melodies that sweep across an orchestra and collaborating with animators and circus dancers.

Erica’s music has been performed by numerous ensembles including the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Daedalus Quartet, pianist Blair McMillen, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Network for New Music, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Her works have been heard across the country in Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and internationally in Germany and New Zealand. Recent commissions include Riding the EL for Relâche, and a new orchestral work commissioned by a consortium of advanced youth orchestras to be premiered in spring 2020. In addition to her work as a composer, Erica remains active as a violinist, pianist, and educator with a special interest in bringing contemporary music to new audiences. She teaches as an adjunct instructor throughout the Philadelphia area and maintains a private teaching studio.

Erica received her PhD in music composition from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied with Anna Weesner, Jim Primosch, and Jay Reise. While completing her doctorate, Erica adopted Presto the cat, whose antics served as the inspiration for her string quartet 9 Lives. Erica completed her undergrad education at Bard College, where she studied with Kyle Gann, ate too much pizza while listening to the entirety of La Monte Young’s The Well-Tuned Piano, and learned to appreciate the rhythms and colors of Stravinsky in studies with Joan Tower. Erica resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her partner, and two kazoo- and drum- playing children. 

SHORT BIO

Translating everyday life into music is at the heart of Erica Ball’s whimsical and playful works. Inspired by the natural world, a childhood spent dreaming of becoming a ballerina, and studies of 20th-century American avant-garde music, Erica is equally at home writing lyrical melodies that sweep across an orchestra and collaborating with animators and circus dancers. Erica holds a PhD in music composition from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in music and environmental studies from Bard College. Erica resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia where she is active as a violinist, pianist, and educator with a special interest in bringing contemporary music to new audiences.