Eli Epstein enjoys a multi-faceted career as performer, educator, conductor and author. Epstein was second horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (1987-2005), and horn professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1989-2005). He has appeared several times as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra.
Epstein left Cleveland in 2005, and moved to Boston to devote more time and energy toward educational and creative endeavors. He is currently on faculty of New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory at Berklee. At NEC, Epstein is on the college faculty, NEC at Walnut Hill, and Brass Chair of the Preparatory School. Epstein's students hold positions as chamber musicians and teachers, and have won posts in more than 30 major orchestras in North America.
An active performer, Epstein has appeared on chamber programs at Jordan Hall, Severance Hall, Tanglewood, Philadelphia's Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, Music Academy of the West, where he was on faculty (2005-2013), and the Aspen Music Festival, where he served as principal horn of the Aspen Chamber Symphony (2000-2012). Epstein has collaborated with the Borromeo and Brentano String Quartets, and has been guest principal horn for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony. Epstein performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from time to time and has played on the BSO Community Chamber Concerts series.
Director of the NEC Youth Brass Ensemble since 2009, Epstein has conducted college ensembles at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Cleveland Institute of Music, Longy School of Music, Music Academy of the West, NEC, and El Sistema in Venezuela.
Advocating the idea that music can be a meaningful and uplifting force in society, in 2009 Epstein won Grand Prize in the Entrepreneur the Arts Contest for his Inside Out Concerts, and appeared on Heartbeat of America with William Shatner. Drawing on years of experience as a performer, educator and entrepreneur, in 2013 Epstein joined the NEC Entrepreneurial Musicianship faculty to teach their survey course The Entrepreneurial Musician.
Epstein's book, Horn Playing from the Inside Out, A Method for All Brass Musicians (Third Edition) was celebrated in Horn Matters: "Without a doubt the most physiologically correct book ever published on horn playing. Epstein presents a pedagogy that is truly informed by science, with new insights that should not be ignored."
Orchestral Excerpts for Low Horn, Epstein's album released in 2014, was acclaimed in HornWorld as "a perfect sequel to (Krebiehl's) original horn excerpts CD...you would be hard pressed to find more nuanced, musically substantial performances anywhere."
"The [Cleveland Orchestra] horns did their famous lick in the third movement trio [of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony] with scalp-prickling precision..."
"Method Man: Could Eli Epstein be the Stanislavski of classical music instruction?"
~Santa Barbara News Press
"[Eli Epstein] was right on the money in Bruckner's Fourth, playing with glowing sound and clean attacks."
"With this recording, Eli Epstein renders with each excerpt a horn lesson, a music lesson, and a lesson in humanity. Any horn student aspiring for improvement, any horn student aspiring to become a professional hornist or teacher and any professional hornist or teacher open to the rejuvenation of new ideas, strategies and nomenclature should reference this valuable, insightful, and inspiring work."
~The Horn Call, Journal of the International Horn Society
"Like a casserole at an expensive restaurant, where each ingredient is high quality, with no fillers, Epstein's book is laden with savory, delectable morsels, each tidbit offering an inspiring idea, and each one contributing to an inspiring and satiating amalgam."~The Horn Call, Journal of the International Horn Society
"Without a doubt, the high point of Tuesday's [Music Academy of the West] program was the largest work and centerpiece--Strauss' Sonatina No. 1 in F...conducted by Eli Epstein..."
~Santa Barbara News Press
Eli Epstein, horn
David Halen, violin
Anton Nel, piano