The James C. Byrd and Family Chair
Eric McCracken studied violin at California State University in Long Beach, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music in 1971. He went on to the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he received a master’s degree in violin performance, as well as theory and music literature. McCracken has studied ear training and theory with American composer Morris Rutger. He also has studied violin privately with Vera Barstow, Virginia Baker, Henri Temianka, Berl Senofsky, and Janice Radford.
McCracken began his music career as assistant concertmaster of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Mississippi, where he also played second violin in the Jackson State University String Quartet. He joined the First Violin section of the North Carolina Symphony in 1975, where he has often substituted for the Concertmaster and the Assistant Concertmaster and was Acting Assistant Concertmaster in 2004-05. He has held the Concertmaster position in the Durham Symphony, where he also appeared as a soloist, as well as the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and the Triangle Opera Theatre. Other performances include appearances with the North Carolina Bach Festival and the New Carolina Sinfonia in Greenville. He has appeared as soloist with the Ciompi Quartet and in recitals at St. Mary’s College, Foundations Bible College, Louisburg College and Duke University.
McCracken is an avid educator. While at the Jackson Symphony, he taught beginning string students in the public schools and also had private violin and viola students. He taught privately in Raleigh from 1975-2002. He has also taught at Louisburg College , Meredith College’s Lamar Stringfield Chamber Music Camp, St. Mary’s College, Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University and Music Camp at the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, he has been string coach for the Triangle Youth Philharmonic, the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, and the Lamar Stringfield Music Camp.