Director | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Interim Director

Eric Lenz

Dr. Eric Lenz is Interim Director of the School of Music and Associate Professor of Cello at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

In addition to his studio cello duties, Lenz also teaches courses in chamber music, harmony, and counterpoint.  A member of the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, Lenz was recently appointed principal cello of the Paducah Symphony.  He has performed with the Alabama, Charleston, and Missouri Symphonies, and with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra.  Recent chamber performances include a recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and a new-music residency at the Banff Centre for Music and Sound.  Lenz has performed at Spoleto Festival USA and at Brevard Music Center, where he served as orchestral fellow.  Chamber music coaches include the Juilliard, Emmerson, Guarnari, Cleveland, and Cavani quartets.  This summer Lenz joins the faculty of Lutheran Summer Music, where he will teach and perform as a member of the Omega String Quartet.  

Lenz majored in music and mathematics at St. Olaf College, where he graduated with distinction for his work in both fields and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He holds graduate degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music—where he studied with Stephen Geber, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra—and the University of Alabama where he was awarded the Moody String Fellowship.  Further studies include residencies in France at the Conservatoire National d’Angers and in the Czech Republic at the Institut Franco-Tchèque.

In the field of early music, he has performed on baroque cello with the Cleveland Camerata and on viola da gamba with the Case Western Reserve Viol Consort.  He is a founding member of Neoteric, an exciting new music ensemble at SIUC which has premiered several new works since its inception in 2004.  Lenz performs frequently with the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, an exciting local organization which sponsors visiting artists and offers scholarships to SIUC students who play string instruments.


  • MUS 018: Civic Orchestra
  • MUS 040N-540N: Applied Cello
  • MUS 205A: Advanced Harmony
  • MUS 207: Contrapuntal Techniques
  • MUS365B: Chamber Music