Eric Funk

Composer

Eric Funk is an American contemporary classical composer and conductor. Originally from Deer Lodge, Montana, he currently resides in Bozeman, Montana, where he teaches music courses at Montana State University.


(Cover photo courtesy Rick Smith/Montana PBS)

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A former student of Tomas Svoboda, Sandor Veress, and Krzysztof Penderecki in the 1970s, Mr. Funk's considerable compositional output includes nine symphonies, four operas, six ballet scores, three large works for chorus and orchestra, nineteen concertos, several orchestral tone poems, and numerous works for chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and vocal works. Prominent premiers of his works include “From the Dreams of Montana Children” [Carnegie Hall, NY]; his one-act solo opera-ballet for contralto and ballet troupe, Akhmatova, based on key texts from the Russian poet's life; his Concerto for the Violin Alone (now an award winning PBS-TV documentary), triple string quartet (The Old Masters), and the song cycles Gongora (for baritone and chamber orchestra, on texts by the Spanish baroque poet) and Sequentia (contralto and 9-person chamber ensemble, on texts by Paul Celan).  His newest commissioned score, a piano trio  "Les Soeurs, Op. 142" was written for the renowned Ahn Trio and the James Sewell Ballet Company (Minneapolis), premiered in Minneapolis November 3, 4, and 5, 2017.

 

Mr. Funk was featured on the Charles Osgood CBS Sunday Morning show in October of 1998, which followed on the heels of a front page story in the New York Times "Arts & Leisure" section (April 14, 1998). Mr. Funk was featured on the nationally syndicated NPR radio shows Performance Today [LeeAnn Hanson], Morning EditionTheme & Variations [Will Everett], The Composer Next Door, and Of the West [Phil Aaberg]. (Listen to the full interview on the Press Page)

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From 1994-2002, Eric was conductor of the Helena Symphony Orchestra in Helena, Montana. From 1994-1999, he was also the conductor of the Gallatin Chamber Orchestra in Bozeman, Montana. Past performance venues for his works include Dvorak Hall [Prague], Lutoslawki Radio Hall [Warsaw], Symphony Hall [Riga], Carnegie Hall [NY], the Renda Theater, and the Gaudeamus International Interpreters of Contemporary Music Festival (Rotterdam). His 144 major works have earned him numerous awards and commissions, including 13 ASCAP Standard Awards, the 2001 Governor's Award for the Arts (Montana), a 2011 Innovation in the Arts Award, a 2012 Humanities Hero Award (Humanities Montana, NEH), and three Arts Commission Fellowships.

He currently teaches for the School of Music/Montana State University where he has won numerous teaching awards:  2013 James & Mary Ross Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2009 Distinguished Service Award University Honors Program,  and the 2007 President’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, serves as Host and Artistic Director for 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, a nine-time Emmy Award winning show in its 13th season [2017] broadcast on Montana PBS & featuring Montana musicians in all genres, and is Music/Artistic Director Emeritus for the Big Sky Classical Music Festival, now in its sixth season [2017].  Mr. Funk retired from this post in 2015, transferred it to violinist Angella Ahn, who currently holds that position.

Copyright Eric Funk, 2013