Originally from Calgary, Erik Hongisto began studying the violin at the age of three. Realizing this was a huge mistake, he switched to piano two years later. It would however not be until the age of twelve that Erik would discover the majesty of the trombone.
After playing many years with school and community bands, and travelling extensively thanks to them, Erik decided to study trombone at the post-secondary level. Attending the University of Calgary, under the tutelage of James Scott, Erik earned a Bachelor of Music with Distinction. Concurrent to his studies there, Erik was a member of “Brass Theatre”—a brass and percussion group based in Bloomington, Indiana—and toured the United States, performing alongside the Canadian Brass.
From Calgary, Erik moved to Montréal to study with Peter Sullivan and Pierre Beaudry at McGill University, and completed a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Performance. This led to opportunities to perform with the symphony orchestras of Montréal, Québec, and Ottawa, among others. In addition to orchestral performances, Erik explored other music styles, performing aboard ships of the Princess Cruises Line and sailing right around the world! Erik has been Principal Trombone with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra since 2003. In addition to playing trombone, his non-musical interests are varied and range from trail-running to scotch-tasting. For the 2016-2017 season, Erik took a leave of absence from the TBSO in order to play with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Acting Principal Trombone.
Mr. Hongisto last appeared as a soloist with the ESO in April 2017.