Ernest was introduced to the violin at the age of nine in his home country of Nigeria after a short stint with the clarinet. He has since studied with several notable tutors and performers including Rachel Barton-Pine (American violinist), Sir Godfrey Amoah (Ghanaian violinist), Louis Jones (British violinist), Agnes Nagy (Hungarian cellist), and Thomas Kanitz (cellist of the Reger String Quartet and Dortmund Symphony Orchestra).
In addition to his mainstream classical background, he found an appreciation for more contemporary musical styles and thus began an exploration of the jazz genre. Shortly afterwards, his performance at the 2008 HipHop World Awards in Lagos, NG with ace producer Cobhams Asuquo registered the violin as a “soulful” instrument; an attribute mostly associated with non-classical instruments in the country. In 2011, he performed at the African Leadership Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the illustrious Bez. Later in 2012, he was on the Nigerian contingent to perform at the African Showcase of the SXSW in Austin, TX. He has since opened for such acts as Richard Bona, Mike Stern, Marcus Johnson, Marsha Ambrosius, and Anita Baker.
In July 2013, he became the first Nigerian to obtain performance diploma certification from the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London with a distinction. In the maiden edition of Venture Career Journal Nigeria released that same year, he was referred to as “arguably Africa’s foremost contemporary violinist”.
His debut recording with Nigerian Rapper IBK a.k.a. “Spaceshipoi” titled “Bumble Bee” which was based on the opening measures of Rimsky Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee” remained on the No. 1 spot on the charts of the Detroit-based “Angels of Melody” radio show for an entire month. He has been a notable influence on the contemporary music scene of his country.
His unique approach to violin pedagogy earned him a scholarship to the summer 2013 edition of the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp in Charleston SC, where he studied contemporary teaching methods with the renowned violinist. He has since gone on to obtain a masters in violin performance from the Mcnally Smith College of Music in St. Paul Minnesota where he studied with Randy Sabien (jazz violin), Daria T. Adams (violinist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) and Pete Whitman (saxophonist). He has also obtained K-12 teaching licensure as a well as a masters in education from the from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul MN. Today, he performs locally and nationally with many different groups.
Godfrey Amoah Award for Strings (2013)
Akintola Williams Prize for Violin (2013)
Ayo Oni Award for Best Overall Graduate MUSON (2013)
David Nwamara for Best Overall Outstanding Graduate MUSON (2013)
Godfrey Amoah (Ghanaian Violinist)
Thomas Kanitz (German Cellist, Reger String Quartet)
Louis Jones (English Violinist)
Agnes Nagy (Hungarian Cellist)
Rachael Barton-Pine (American Violinist)
Daria Adams (American Violinist, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Randy Sabien (American Jazz Violinist)
Pete Whitman (American Jazz Saxophonist)