Violist and composer Emily Onderdonk, who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, began her college years as a composition major, but soon put composition aside to focus on her degree in viola performance at Manhattan School of Music. Since then she has enjoyed an eclectic career that includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Ballet, Opéra National de Lyon, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Quartet San Francisco, (with whom she was nominated for 2 Grammy awards), Tower of Power, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton, Leon Fleisher, Luciano Pavarotti, Smokey Robinson, Diana Krall and many others. In 2016, she took up composing once again, recording and performing her music regularly with Vitamin Em. Her pieces reflect eclectic musical influences: a Baroque snippet, an intricate funk rhythm, a taste of big band, 70’s soul and the dissonant harmonies of contemporary music can mix together in any one piece she writes, creating a distinctly unique composition, yet with familiar elements. Always at the heart of each are rhythm and groove.
In addition to leading Vitamin Em, Emily arranges and composes for colleagues, performs as principal violist with the Sacramento Philharmonic and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, is on the faculty at California State University East Bay, and can be found subbing with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet orchestras or recording pop, movie, and video game soundtracks at Skywalker Ranch.