Erica Muhl

From Wind Repertory Project
Erica Muhl


Erica Muhl (b. 26 October 1961, Los Angeles, Calif.) is an American composer, conductor and education administrator.

Dr. Muhl grew up in Los Angeles, where her father, Edward Muhl, was the head of Universal Pictures from 1953 to 1973, and her mother, Barbara, was an author and opera singer. She trained as both a composer and a conductor, with much completed in Europe. At sixteen she was invited for private composition study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

She returned from Europe in order to complete a Bachelor of Music degree, but upon completion she once again traveled while undergoing graduate studies at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. She studied conducting in Los Angeles with Fritz Zweig. This was followed by the completion of a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California in 1991.

Muhl has served as assistant conductor for Los Angeles Opera Theater, for Seattle Opera's regular season, and the Seattle Pacific Northwest Wagner Festival’s complete Der Ring des Nibelungen. She currently serves as dean of the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Muhl formerly served as associate dean and professor of composition at the Thornton School of Music. She received an award in music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999.

Muhl's elegy for string orchestra Disinherited Souls, in remembrance of the victims of the Shoah, was commissioned by the New Jewish Chamber Philharmonic Dresden. Another commission, Burn the Box, also premiered in 2010, at a private gala in celebration of the inauguration of USC President C. L. Max Nikias. Further recent premieres have included the concert overture Smoke and Mirrors, for large orchestra, conducted in Los Angeles by the Memphis Symphony's music director, Mei-Ann Chen; and two new chamber works.

Works for Winds


  • Erica Muhl, Wikipedia Accessed 18 April 2016
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 428.
  • Wallace, Jacob. "Smoke and Mirrors." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 1001-1010. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.