Eli Epstein enjoys a multi-faceted career as performer, educator, conductor, and author. Epstein was second horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (1987-2005) and horn professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1989-2005). He has appeared several times as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Epstein left Cleveland in 2005, and moved to Boston to devote more time and energy toward educational and creative endeavors. Epstein is currently on faculty of New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory. At NEC, he is on the college faculty, NEC at Walnut Hill, and Brass Chair of the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education. His former students hold posts in major orchestras throughout the US and Canada.
An active performer, Epstein has appeared on chamber programs at Jordan Hall, Severance Hall, Tanglewood, Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, Music Academy of the West, where he was on faculty (2005-2013), and Aspen Music Festival, where he served as principal horn of the Aspen Chamber Symphony (2000-2012). Epstein has collaborated with the Borromeo and Brentano String Quartets, and has been guest principal horn for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony. He performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from time to time and has played on the BSO Community Chamber Concerts series.
Director of the NEC Youth Brass Ensemble since 2009, Epstein has conducted college ensembles at Boston Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Longy School of Music, Music Academy of the West, NEC, and El Sistema in Venezuela.
Advocating the idea that music can be a meaningful and uplifting force in society, in 2009 Epstein won Grand Prize in the Entrepreneur the Arts Contest for his Inside Out Concerts, and appeared on Heartbeat of America with William Shatner. Drawing on years of experience as a performer, educator and entrepreneur, in 2013 Epstein joined the NEC Entrepreneurial Musicianship faculty to teach their survey course The Entrepreneurial Musician.
Epstein’s book, Horn Playing from the Inside Out, A Method for All Brass Musicians (second edition published in 2014), was acclaimed in the International Horn Society’s journal as “an overwhelmingly stimulating and productive treatise…that will yield positive influence on legions of horn players—students and professionals alike.”