Eric Funk was born in Montana in 1949. He studied composition with Tomas Svoboda, Sandor Veress, and Krzysztof Penderecki and interviewed Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1977) specific to her composition pedagogy. Recipient of the first Ruth Lorraine Close Fellowship for graduate study in composition at University of Oregon (1973), Funk holds degrees from Portland State University and is ABD in the tri-university doctoral program (Portland State, University of Oregon, Oregon State University). Currently on the faculty at Montana State University and the 2007 President's Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, he teaches for the University Honors College (awarded the 2009 Distinguished Service Award), College of Letters and Science, and for the School of Music (composition, orchestration). He also serves as artistic director and host for Montana PBS-TV "11th & Grant with Eric Funk", the Emmy Award winning showcase for Montana musicians, all genres, now in its 6th season.
Eric Funk has composed 118 major works, one third of which were commissions, including nine symphonies, four operas, sixteen concerti, five string quartets, numerous large and small choral works and chamber works. There are currently six CDs of his music available, featuring performances by: the Warsaw Philharmonic (Jerzy Swoboda); Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Valek); Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (Terje Mikkelsen); Moyzes String Quartet; and, Elizabeth Croy, soprano, with the Meritage String Quartet. Included are five of his nine symphonies, the oboe concerto (Martin Schuring) and cello concerto (Olga Ogranovich), piano concerto #1 (Philip Aaberg), and his String Quartet #2 "In memoriam Shostakovich". Funk's music has been performed twice at Carnegie Hall and he has been featured on NPR (Performance Today, Morning Edition), CBS-TV (Sunday Morning - Charles Osgood, resulting from a front page feature story in the Arts & Leisure Section of the New York Times), Themes & Variations, The Composer Next Door, Classical Music Archives, and Marvin Rosen's "Classical Discoveries".
From 1994-2002, Eric Funk was music director and conductor of the Helena Symphony Orchestra (Helena, Montana). From 1994-1999, he was co-founder and conductor of the Gallatin Chamber Orchestra in Bozeman, Montana. Eric Funk recently completed his ninth symphony and just returned from Budapest, Hungary where he was working with violin virtuoso, Vilmos Olah, on the composition written for and dedicated to him: "Vili: Concerto for the Violin Alone, Op 109". A new CD of his art songs (1972-2010), completed in early May, 2010, will be released in June, 2010, and includes the 30-minute newly commissioned work "Like a Captive Lion, Op 110", settings of nine poems by Marina Tsvetaeva for soprano voice, clarinet, and string quartet. Funk's pentalogy "BEYOND TIME" involves his "Symphony No 6, Op 88 "Apocalypse-Phoenix Rising" (2000), "The Sojourner's Eye, Op 102" (2002), Symphony No 7, Op. 105 "Time" (2006), Symphony No 8, Op 108 "And Humankind Departed", and Symphony No 9, Op 111 "Time Bridge to Beyond Time". These five works share the central theme: 'human life on earth'.
Funk's "Concerto for Flute & Chamber Orchestra, Op 93" received its world premiere May 22, 2010, Mary Fukushima (flute), Montana State University Symphony, Shuichi Komiyama, conducting. The Auer String Quartet will tour all five of Eric Funk's string quartets throughout Europe and China (2010-2011) and Vilmos Olah will perform and record both violin concerti #1 and #2 with the Budapest Philharmonic and, additionally premiere and record "Vili: Concerto for the Violin Alone, Op 109". Funk was the recipient of the 2011 Innovation in the Arts Award/Montana Arts Council through National Endowment for the Arts and is currently serving as the interim conductor of the MSU Symphony Orchestra.