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Erin Rafferty


Ever since she was in her first opera at age four, Erin Rafferty has loved being involved in music. Whether it’s the children’s chorus in La Bohème or an experimental concert with toy piano in a brewery, she considers herself ready and willing to try anything once. Her musical adventures have taken her to dozens of states, seven countries, restaurants, libraries, horse farms, and even prisons.

Always an avid orchestral player above all else, Erin joined the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in 2015 and was appointed Principal Viola of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in 2019. She has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and numerous others. She has held principal seats at the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and her Master of Music degree from Indiana University. Her major teachers include Li-Kuo Chang, Roberto Díaz, Atar Arad, Catharine Carroll, and Masao Kawasaki. She owes her early passion for music to her father, violinist J. Patrick Rafferty, and her late grandfather, conductor Henry Janiec.

She plays a viola by Franz Kinberg, crafted in 1957 in Chicago.