Eric Shumsky has had a varied and exciting career as a violist, chamber musician, conductor and teacher. In the world of music he is known and respected widely among his peers. In the last decade, Eric Shumsky has traveled and worked with poor musicians in distant lands who often can barely afford musical instruments. Acting as a kind of music ambassador, Shumsky has been able to greatly inspire and help young musicians. Nicaragua, India, China, South Korea, Romania, Morocco and Mexico and northern China figure among some of the places he has travelled to inspired young players. In the artists' words, "Music is a universal language bridging all barriers. Nothing is more heartwarming than to see a beautiful smile emerge on the face of a young musician, who is inspired to learn something new and meaningful."
Eric Shumsky has recorded the Mozart "Sinfonie Concertante" with his father and teacher, the great violinist Oscar Shumsky, on the EMI label, with Yan-Pascal Tortelier conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Also with his Oscar Shumsky, he has recorded all of the major works for violin and viola and has received praise from the American and European press. Fanfare Magazine, reviewing the "Virtuoso Duo", exclaimed: "Beautiful tone, clean intonation, a superb recording." Hi Fi Stereo (from a German review: "This recording leaves nothing to be desired." Eric Shumsky has appeared as a soloist in over 100 cities throughout the world and has performed with orchestras including the London Sinfonia, Salzburg Sinfonietta, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and McGill Chamber Orchestra. In 1986 Shumsky was a featured artist on BBC live in London, and has appeared and been broadcast over most of the important radio stations throughout Europe. In the field of conducting, Eric Shumsky toured many cities in France with his own chamber orchestra. International Chamber Soloists while he lived in France during the 1980's, and has conducted numerous other groups.
Eric Shumsky taught at the University of Washington, and conducted the orchestra at the University of Western Michigan for three years. The artist has also guest conducted in Puebla, Mexico and Veracruz Mexico as well as in other Central American countries, giving workshops and concerts across several continents reaching out to many musician worldwide. Eric Shumsky has been lauded by some of the most important names in the viola world, including Emanuel Vardi, Milton Katims, William Primrose, and Lillian Fuchs who have considered him to be one of the outstanding violists of his generation. The late great French composer, Jean Francaix called his performance of his Rapsodie for viola and winds, "superb." Oscar Shumsky who was Eric Shumsky's late great father has been the violists greatest inspiration. As a young child of five, his father Oscar gave him lessons before school each day. He made much progress and yet it was not until Eric Shumsky switched from the violin to the viola at the age of sixteen that his real capabilities were discovered. Lillian Fuchs the famous American violist taught Eric Shumsky at the Juilliard School of Music from 1971-1975.
Shumsky has also worked for shorter periods with William Primrose, Henri Temianka and Miriam Solovieff, the latter teacher while he lived in Paris. Eric Shumsky has given classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Ecole Normal de Musique in Paris, Karlsruhe Hochschule for music in Germany, Dartmouth College, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria B.C, Montreal Conservatory of Music, and many other institutions. The artist has travelled to Mexico and worked in Mexico City, Puebla, and the University of Vericruz in Jalappa. Many students today realize much beauty is often lost in this digital age. They are therefore very grateful to Shumsky whose music allows grand traditions to once again come alive.
Eric Shumsky has, in recent years focused more intently upon recording and has formed Vestige Classics, a company which focuses upon the legendary recordings of Oscar Shumsky as well as viola releases of his own. Many beautiful recordings may be found on this label at shumskymusic.com. A large project is now underway to celebrate the 100th anniversery of Oscar Shumsky's birth in 1917. This project will feature many releases of performances made during Oscar Shumsky's lifetime.