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Eric Bates is a member of the first violin section of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He began his violin studies at the age of six with Laura Crawford of Shreveport Louisiana who was his teacher for twelve years. Eric attended the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati as a Starling Scholarship student of Dorothy Delay and Kurt Sassmannshaus. He made his solo debut at the age of 8 with the Shreveport Chamber Orchestra and since then has made solo appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony in Louisiana, Tennessee Festival Orchestra at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee and the Cincinnati Starling Orchestra at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.

Eric teaches violin privately and is also a member of the Amicus Chamber Players. He performs on a violin made by Cincinnati based instrument maker Damon Gray.