Photo credit: Shayne Gray
Erika Nielsen is a multi-genre Canadian cellist who defies the odds of mental illness in her first book, Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey From Chaos to Composure. Erika has a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, collaborative artist, orchestral player and educator, with a musicianship that spans Baroque and Classical traditions to Contemporary and Popular genres. She has had the privilege of performing with artists such as Grammy-winning Kanye West for both MTV Canada and Live at the Concert Hall series, and with Juno-winning Johnny Reid for Canada’s Walk of Fame. Based in Toronto, she performs as a chamber musician, as well as rock albums with Classic Albums Live, with 25-piece Toronto Motown band The Big Sound, and throughout Canada and the USA with ELO tribute Strange Magic. As a writer, Erika is a blog contributor to BPHope, a magazine for people with bipolar disorder, and is the author of wellness and mental health blog, Sound Mind. A passionate educator, Erika maintains a busy private studio and recently joined the faculty of National Music Camp of Canada. Also a visual artist, her collection of paintings, Chromaticism, has been showcased in both Toronto and Sudbury.