Eric Ziolek, composer and pianist, was born in North Tonawanda, New York and began his musical training with his father who owned a music store there. He received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Iowa, where his composition teachers were William Hibbard and Richard Hervig. His compositional output consists mainly of chamber music, which has been performed in Germany, Malaysia and Brazil, as well as the United States. He has written numerous commissioned works and was twice named MTNA composer of the year in Michigan and Iowa. His music is published by TAP Music, Lingua Press, and American Composers Edition. Ziolek is a pianist who has performed hundreds of recitals as an accompanist, chamber musician and orchestral pianist. He is currently the pianist with Venner, a group of current and former Cleveland Orchestra musicians specializing in trio repertory. Ziolek served on the faculty of Grand Valley State University and the University of Iowa, where he was musical director of the Center for New Music from 1989-1992. Since 1992 he has been on the faculty at Cleveland State University where he serves as Chair of the Department of Music. In 2005 he was awarded a Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching.