In addition to his work as a conductor, Erik maintains an active career as a violinist, frequently performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Midwest. He has given solo recitals across the globe including music from the works of Bach through the newest music of our time.
A committed advocate for contemporary music, Erik has premiered and commissioned many new works by both established and young composers, and is constantly seeking to discover new compositional voices. In addition to regularly bringing new orchestral works to programs each season, he is the violinist of the new music duo sonic apricity, which is dedicated to uncovering and commissioning new works by living composers for violin and viola.
sonic apricity is a new-music duo comprised of violinist Erik Rohde and violist Jacob Tews. Having now been collaborators for two decades, they officially formed a duo in 2015 dedicated to uncovering and commissioning new works by living composers for violin and viola, performing them alone and in full recitals alongside more established pieces. They released their first album of works that they have commissioned and other previously unrecorded works in 2022.
The year 2020 marked the 300th anniversary of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. To celebrate the anniversary, Erik performed the complete set of Sonatas and Partitas in February, 2020. Additional performances were scheduled in 2020 but cancelled due to covid. 2023 marks the return of the project, with performances scheduled in Alba, Italy, Winona, MN, and Cedar Falls, IA. To pay homage to the monument of Bach's work, Erik commissioned composer Elliott Miles McKinley to create a companion piece titled Betwixt Bach, which Erik premiered in 2022. The upcoming performances will combine the works as a giant cycle, and eventually Erik plans to record the new solo work.