Remembering Richard Erb: A Legendary teacher of NYO

The classical music world is grieving the loss of a legend, Richard Erb, who passed away on April 25th, 2023. Erb was a renowned music teacher and performer who has made significant contributions to the classical music scene in both the United States and Canada.

For nearly four decades, from 1968 to 2005, Richard Erb served as the low brass instructor for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Erb’s dedication and expertise earned him a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest brass teachers in North America.

Richard Erb’s influence on the Canadian classical music scene cannot be overstated. Nearly every major Canadian orchestra includes at least one of his former students. Erb’s approach to teaching was centred on the idea that music is not just about technique but also about passion, dedication, and a love for the art form.

Upon his retirement from teaching with NYO, Erb’s position was permanently named the Richard Erb Chair for Low Brass Studies, a fitting tribute to his incredible career.

Erb’s legacy will continue to inspire young musicians for generations to come, and his contributions to the classical music world will not be forgotten. Richard Erb was not only a teacher but also a mentor, friend, and inspiration to so many young musicians. His passing is a great loss to the classical music community, but his impact will continue to be felt for years to come. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and all those who had the privilege of learning from him.

Link to obituary

Photo July 18th, 1981: Richard Erb teaching a private lesson to Ted Cosstick
NYO Print Program 1969 Special Concert series featuring Joni Mitchell & Gordon Lightfoot