Eric Millstein*, PrincipalPercussion

Eric Millstein


Potomac, Maryland

Where you live now:


Year you joined the Grant Park Music Festival:


Where did you study?

New England Conservatory and Temple University

What do you love most about your instrument? 

The variety.  My percussion colleagues and I will play dozens of different instruments throughout a Grant Park season. 

What would you be if you were not a musician?  

A teacher, or maybe a journalist

Who would you love to work with in a future musical collaboration (conductors, guest artists) who you have not previously worked with?  

Keith Jarrett

Can you share any memorable stories about your experience with the Grant Park Music Festival?  

I remember playing selections from West Side Story back at the Petrillo shell, where there was a lot more traffic noise from Lake Shore Drive.  During the song "Maria," just as the tenor was singing the words, "the most beautiful sound I ever heard," a group of motorcyclists sped by, unwittingly turning that lyric into a punch line!

What’s on your playlist at the moment?  

Listening, as usual, to a lot of classical music (mostly chamber music and solo piano repertoire) and jazz (a mix of classic recordings and more recent releases). 

Any hobbies? 

I enjoy studying foreign languages.  I'm fairly proficient in Italian, so I read books to keep up my skills (currently reading Salvatore Accardo's autobiography).  I'm also using various language apps to study French and German.