Erika Gundesen, Instructor/Supervisor, Piano
Erika Gundesen was born in Calgary, Canada. She completed her Performance ARCT Diploma (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) in August 2008, achieving First Class Honours with Distinction. She was also awarded five Royal Conservatory of Music Silver Medals for the highest piano exam marks in the province, as well as numerous scholarships from local organizations. As a teenager, Erika was a top competitor in the Calgary Kiwanis Festival and the Alberta Provincial Music Festival. She graduated from secondary school with top honours, including the Governor General's Award and the Gerry Denault Prix. She was involved in dance instruction and competitions as she grew up and is now using those skills with her work on productions in London.
Erika completed her Bachelor of Music at the UBC School of Music in Vancouver, studying with Dr. Terence Dawson and Professor Jane Coop. She achieved her Masters in Performance in the fall of 2014 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, England, where she continued her studies with Professor Caroline Palmer. Last year she completed an Artist Diploma on the Guildhall Opera Course, working as a coach and repetiteur, and has this year been working as an assistant conductor. She has competed as a finalist in the Canadian Music Competition and the Knigge International Piano Competition, winning top prizes in the former.
Erika hopes to continue her career as a musical director for opera and theatre productions in London. She made her musical directing debut with the Jazzhands Optional collective in Songs for a New World, a production at the Silk Street Theatre in 2014. Other recent productions include Pirates of Penzance (Millfield Theatre), My Fair Lady (Bridewell Theatre), West Side Story (Vivo d’Arte), RENT (Vivo d’Arte), Urinetown (Millfield Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Vivo d'Arte), Side by Side by Sondheim (Milton Court Studio Theatre), Parade (London Theatre Workshop), Bugsy Malone (Millfield Theatre), and Our American Cousin (Finborough Theatre), along with cabaret and opera work at the Guildhall school. Future projects include a production of Oliver! at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre for Vivo d’Arte, as well as some exciting opera endeavours.