A fourth-generation native of Arizona, Erin Hales began her formal pianistic studies at the age of five with Zhu Hong, under whose instruction she quickly gained local notoriety. Professional study of the instrument began for Hales at seventeen, when she received a full scholarship to join the studio of Stanislav Ioudenitch, gold medalist of the Van Cliburn competition and founder of the International Center for Music at Park University, Kansas City, Missouri. Upon completing her studies with Ioudenitch, she embarked on postgraduate work with venerable pedagogue William Grant Naboré at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.
As of 2016, Hales also holds the honor of being the first American woman ever accepted to the legendary International Piano Academy Lake Como.
Through extensive research and adoption of historical performance techniques, Hales has earned particular esteem for her renditions of the music of J.S. Bach and the French Baroque keyboard masters. Her distinctive style and commanding presence have garnered her performances across the United States, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Russian Federation. Notably, she has performed the entire first book of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier from memory in single-recital format. Critics have compared her playing to that of Edwin Fischer, Glenn Gould and Rosalyn Tureck.
Hales' debut album, also featuring Book I of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, was released worldwide in September 2015 as part of a collaboration between Artalinna (www.artalinna.com) and Academy Classical Music Productions (www.academy-classical-music.com). Widespread critical acclaim of the work led London’s International Piano magazine to include her in their July/August 2016 feature of ten noteworthy pianists under the age of thirty.
An avid chamber musician, Hales co-founded the Evox Ensemble with cellist Ruth Wenger in 2019. The pair has performed in numerous Arizona venues, including the Desert Botanical Garden and the David Wright House.
Hales currently works as an independent piano and music theory instructor.