Meet the Staff: Erik Petersons

By Miles Cohen on October 7, 2010

To introduce you to our newest staff member, Development & Marketing Assistant Erik Petersons, I just spent a few minutes interrogating Erik on a variety of musical and personal subjects.  Here is a transcript of our conversation. Please give Erik a warm welcome at your next concert!

Miles:  Erik, what brought you to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and what is your position?

Erik:  Well, I love chamber music.  I’ve played in chamber ensembles all my life and am drawn to the intimacy of the music-making experience as a performing and a listener.  My role with PCMS is assisting Jacob Smith with Development and Marketing.  This is the perfect opportunity to advocate for something I personally participate in and believe in.

Miles:  Knowing you are a musician yourself, what is your background and where did you come from before you came on board with PCMS?

Erik:  I most recently directed the string program at a private school north of Philadelphia, where I also started a now thriving chamber program, and was an adjunct professor at the Philadelphia Biblical University.  I earned my B.A. in Music Education from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music out in Chicago, where I also met my wife, Jane, a flute player.

Miles:  What are enjoying most about working with PCMS so far?

Erik:  Aside from the pleasure it is to work with such a supportive and fun staff, I am particularly excited about helping introduce new people to chamber music.  For example, I wish I had something like the PCMS Unlimited Student Pass growing up in Chicago to attend 65+ concerts.  I cannot wait to see people’s reactions after concerts after hearing something for the first time in their life that will begin the same journey with chamber music that I remember having.

Miles:  What has surprised you the most about PCMS?

Erik:  Well, surprised is probably not the right word, but I have been sincerely impressed by how invested everyone is in chamber music.  Even in an office where not everyone is a musician, each person knows its impact on people’s lives and its value in our community.  A staff that is passionate about what they are working to promote makes for a wonderfully stimulating environment where we collaborate closely to present excellent artists performing the finest repertoire.

Miles:  How is your initiation process coming along?

Erik: Umm…it’s coming.   So far, I feel I am keeping up with the grant-writing Jacob has thrown at me, correctly guessed Vinson Cole’s age on the first try, and successfully set up the new color printer for the office.  But I am worried about my final test — rappelling down the side of our office building from the 16th floor!

Miles: What concerts are you most looking forward to this season?

Erik: I am already planning to hear the Takács, Emerson, and Brentano Quartets, Midori’s violin recital (who I have had the pleasure of performing with), and flutist Marina Piccinini, who I greatly admire after hearing her perform last year.  I am also looking forward to hearing Lidia Kaminska on accordion, and I never miss a performance of Anonymous 4.

Miles: To round out our interview, I must ask you — what is your favorite breakfast cereal?

Erik:  Favorites are always hard to choose (like choosing a favorite concert), but I do love my wife’s homemade granola and Trader Joe’s “Just the Cluster” Granola and Honey Nut O’s.

Watch for upcoming interviews that Miles has conducted with artists like Marina Piccinini, Marcy Rosen, Peter Stumpf and others.