Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Eric Hessel (b. 1991) is a talented composer, as well as an orchestral hornist, chamber musician, and soloist. He currently performs with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and the Sherman Symphony. Prior to pursuing his doctorate in horn performance at University of North Texas under William Scharnberg, Hessel served as Third/Assistant Principal Horn of the Topeka Symphony, and Co-Principal of the Lawrence Community Orchestra while completing his Master's at the University of Kansas under Paul Stevens. In 2014, he served as a soloist and orchestral musician at the Neue Eutiner Festspiele in Eutin, Germany.
An active chamber musician, Hessel co-founded three groups with his wife, Mai Tadokoro Hessel (percussion): The Spiral Staircase Duo, which debuted in Osaka, Japan, and Dallas, Texas in 2016, and the Maroon Trio and Oread Quartet, which performed around Kansas City in 2014-15. Many of Hessel's works were composed for and premiered by these groups. Other continuing chamber ensembles include the WindWorks Quintet of Denton, TX, which won Third Prize in the 2016 Art of Chamber Music Competition and Honorary Mention in the 2016 Texas MTNA Chamber Competition; The H2K Trio; and the Brass Quintet of the UNT Center for Chamber Music. Performance remains a primary musical outlet and the inspiration for many of his compositions.
Hessel’s works have been performed across the United States, as well as in Mexico, Belgium, France, Germany, and Japan. He currently studies composition with Andrew May and holds a BM in Composition from Arizona State University, where he studied under Roshanne Etezady, Jody Rockmaker, Rodney Rogers, and James DeMars. At ASU, he also studied horn under John Ericson.