Composer Spotlight – Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre composing music.

Composer Name: Eric Whitacre

Birth/Death: Jan 2, 1970 – PresentEric Whitacre posing for a portrait.

Best Known Compositions:

Known mostly for his choral works, including “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine,” “The Seal Lullaby,” “Cloudburst,” and many others.

Musical Influences & Inspiration:

Eric was inspired to start a composing career when he first sang Mozart’s Requiem, stating that it “changed his life” to perform the song.

Music Genre & Instrument Specialty:
  • Eric writes classical-style works.
  • Described as neo-impressionist with certain pieces
  • Vocalist
  • Pianist

Eric Whitacre conducting choir in New york city.


Career Highlights:

Eric received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, where he studied with choral conductor David Weiller before getting his master’s in composition from Julliard. His early works were praised by US and overseas critics in the choral and wind ensemble worlds; his works have won him several awards. He has also done various commissions for different organizations, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the King’s Singers. Eric collaborated with Hans Zimmer for two movies; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Eric’s debut album, Light and Gold, received a Grammy award for Best Choral Recording, and his second album topped the US Billboard Classical charts upon release.

Interesting Facts:

Eric has hosted several TED talks and has also been invited to speak at the UN Leaders Program and charity organization UNICEF. Working with Spitfire Audio, Eric created a vocal sample library used by composers all over the world. Eric completed a multimedia project called Deep Field in 2018, celebrating 30 years of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project involves an 8,000 voice virtual choir and footage from the Hubble Telescope in a film to be screened at NASA celebrations, museums, and science festivals throughout 2020.