Clipper Erickson made his debut as a soloist with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra at age nineteen in Los Angeles. After studies at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University with the renowned British pianist John Ogdon, his interpretations began earning prizes at international competitions including the Busoni, William Kapell, and the American Pianists Association. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in some of the most famous concert venues in the world, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
In January 2016, Gramophone UK recognized Clipper’s disc of the complete piano music of African descent composer Nathaniel Dett, released in 2015 on the Navona label, as an editor’s choice, writing: “this historically and musically important release not only fills a crucial catalogue gap but sets reference standards. No serious aficionado of the history of American piano music can afford to miss it.” This CD is the latest in a long series of interpretations of American music from past and present to receive considerable critical acclaim. His powerful renditions of the great classical repertoire have been described as “colorful,” “powerful” and “exciting.” Typical is the Washington Post: “Like a true heroic pianist, Erickson approached Liszt with power, precision and Romantic abandon … A take-no-prisoners rendition.”
Erickson is active in premiering new piano works written for him; his most recent project is the premiering and recording of new works by Laurie Altman, including the immense and colorful Sonata 7, Tanzania, soon to be released on the NEOS label of Munich.
Through his work as a roster member of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour and earlier in the Xerox Pianist Program of Affiliate Artists, he has performed for all types of community groups, always engaging audiences with illuminating commentary on his program repertoire. An important part of his mission is encouraging the love of music through commitment to education, performances in schools, master classes, and the inspiration of future generations of musicians. He currently teaches at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, and Temple University in Philadelphia.