Eric Zivian was born in Michigan and grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he attended the Royal Conservatory of Music. After receiving his diploma there, he left at age fifteen to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, where he received a bachelor of music. He received graduate degrees from The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. Mr. Zivian studied piano with Gary Graffman and Peter Serkin, and composition with Ned Rorem, Jacob Druckman, and Martin Bresnick. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center both as a performer and as a composer.
Mr. Zivian has given solo recitals in Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. He has performed concertos with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Since 2000, he has performed extensively on original instruments, playing fortepiano in the Zivian-Tomkins Duo as well as part of the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio. Mr. Zivian is also a member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and has performed numerous times with the Empyrean Ensemble and Earplay. He is a frequent guest artist on the San Francisco Conservatory's faculty chamber music series and has also appeared several times in San Francisco Symphony chamber music concerts. Mr. Zivian's compositions have been performed widely in the United States and in Japan. He was awarded an ASCAP Jacob Druckman Memorial Commission to compose an orchestral work, Three Character Pieces, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony in 1998.