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ERICSSON F. HATFIELD

Composer, Theorist, Educator

Ericsson Hatfield is a composer, theorist and educator based in the New York metropolitan and South Florida areas. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from New York University in violin performance. There he studied with renowned pedagogues Cyrus Beroukhim, Stephanie Chase and Gregory Fulkerson, during which he was a freelance performer and studio musician in the Manhattan area. Currently, Ericsson still participates in chamber music in Palm Beach County as a member of the Palm Beach Cultural Council.


As a composer, Ericsson pursued his studies primarily as an autodidact. This started with mastery of the common practice, which has correlated with his works having expert command of counterpoint and form. These compositions draw on an array of harmonic languages in the 20th century that are incorporated into elements of craft from the common practice era. Ericsson studied composition at the prestigious European American Musical Alliance where he was exposed to the methods of Nadia Boulanger and theories of Philip Lasser. In 2018, Ericsson won first place in composition at the Tribeca New Music Festival with his violin quartet “Constellations.” Ericsson was one of the youngest (22) applicants for his division (22-35). Of Constellations, David Conte (chair of composition at the San Fransisco Conservatory of Music and former pupil of Nadia Boulanger and Aaron Copeland) says “Brilliant; stunning! This piece shows a level of technique very rare for a young composer, which is impressive, but that wouldn’t matter if the piece wasn’t also filled with beauty, inspiration, and imagination… [Hatfield has] created a unique medium with the violin quartet."


As a theorist, Ericsson has drawn on the seminal works of Kendall Durelle Briggs, Philip Lasser and Heinrich Schenker in his essays on theory. Ericsson’s greatest contribution so far has been the codification of an original system of Tonal Diatonic and Synthetic Quartal/Quintal Counterpoint. Ericsson’s theoretical ideas directly influence his works and are integral to the success of his compositions.


As an educator, Ericsson uses an interdisciplinary approach across violin, composition and theory to make sure the student receives a holistic musical education. At the center of this philosophy is imagination — mastery of music exists in the mind, so focus is more crucial than industry. In regards to Violin, Ericsson leans on the various approaches he was exposed to in his formative years and draws from the teaching styles of Ivan Galamian and Schinichi Suzuki. Theory and composition are taught in tandem and begin with the fundamentals of common practice composition — counterpoint and form. From there, the student is guided through various 20th century techniques as they develop their compositional voice.


Currently Ericsson teaches violin, piano, theory, aural skills and composition at the Vivace Academy in West Palm Beach Fl. under the directorship of Antonio Rincon. Ericsson also enjoys holding theoretical discussion through his facebook group “FB Music Theory.” Aside from this, Ericsson enjoys sailing and the company of his dog and cat.