Erika Gundesen


Pianist and Music Director

ARCT, BMus, MPerf


Erika Gundesen completed her Performance ARCT (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) in Calgary (Canada) in August 2008, achieving First Class Honours with Distinction.  As a teenager, Erika was a top competitor in the Calgary Kiwanis Festival and the Alberta Provincial Music Festival.  She graduated from William Aberhart High School with top honours, including the Governor General's Award and the Gerry Denault Prix.

Erika achieved her Bachelor of Music at the UBC School of Music in Vancouver, studying with Dr. Terence Dawson and Professor Jane Coop.  She finished her Masters in Performance in 2014 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, UK, where she continued her studies with Professor Caroline Palmer.   She was also awarded an Artist Diploma from the Guildhall in 2016, as a part of the prestigious Opera Repetiteur course.  She has competed as a finalist in the Canadian Music Competition and the Knigge International Piano Competition, winning top prizes in the former.

Erika currently works as a pianist and music director for opera and theatre productions in London, with a particular passion for contemporary repertoire.  She is a National Opera Studio Young Artist for 2017-2018, supported by Help Musicians UK and the Canada Council of the Arts.  Recent credits include Parade (Vivo d'Arte, Frogmore Paper Mill), Oliver (Vivo d'Arte, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre), West Side Story (Vivo d'Arte, Frogmore Paper Mill), My Fair Lady (Geoids, Bridewell Theatre), Cosi fan tutte (Opera Loki), RENT (Vivo d'Arte), Sweeney Todd (Vivo d'Arte), The Rape of Lucretia (Silk Street Theatre), Parade (London Theatre Workshop), Parade (Vivo d'Arte, Watford Palace Theatre), Our American Cousin (Finborough Theatre), and Songs for a New World (Jazzhands Optional, Silk Street Theatre). Previously, she has assisted and performed with productions in Vancouver, including The Music Man,Titanic: A New Musical (Theatre Under the Stars Vancouver), and 13 (Awkward Stage Productions).



National Opera Studio Young Artist (2017-2018)

Guildhall School of Music & Drama (2012 - 2014, 2015 - 2016)

University of British Columbia (2008 - 2012)

Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (2008)



Caroline Palmer (GSMD)

Jane Coop (UBC)

Dr. Terence Dawson (UBC)

Joan Bell (Calgary)



Help Musicians UK (2017)

Roderick Brydon Trust (2017)

GSMD Leverhulme Trust (2015)

GSMD Scholarship (2012, 2013)

Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction (2013)

Alberta Arts Graduate Scholarship (2012)

UBC Dean's List (2012)

UBC School of Music Director's Prize (2012)

June Goldsmith Scholarship (2010)

Golden Leaf Scholarship (2009)

Robert Silverman Prize in Piano (2009)

Governor-General’s Medal for Academic Excellence (2008)

Calgary Optimist Club Youth Appreciation Award (2007)

Canadian Music Competition (16 and under), 1st Prize (2007)


Pint of Wine Productions - Music Director (2017-Present)

Geoids Musical Theatre - Music Director (2017-Present)

Vivo d'Arte - Music Director (2016-Present)

London Theatre Workshop - Music Director (2015)

Over Here Theatre Company - Music Director (2015)

Saint Monica's Players - Music Director (2015-Present)

GSMD Vocal Department - Music Director/Accompanist (2012-2017)

GSMD Outside Engagements - Event Pianist (2012-2017)

Theatre Under the Stars Vancouver - Assistant Music Director/Pianist (2012)

Awkward Stage Productions - Assistant Music Director/Pianist (2011)

UBC Health Arts Society - ArtsWay Ambassador (2010-2012)

UBC Access & Diversity - Tutor (2010-2012)

UBC School of Music - Accompanist (2009-2012)

Calgary Arts Summer School Association - Musical Director/Instructor/Assistant (2009-Present)



"Liszt and Petrarch: Sonnets Across Time - A Profile of Petrarch and his influence on Liszt's Années de Pélérinage" (London Liszt Society Journal, October 2014)


Photo by Bertie Watson, ©2014.