Ernest Barretta was born in McKeesport, Pa., and was a winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artists Competition and the Pittsburgh Musician's Club Competition. Among his prizes are the Rudolph Serkin Prize (Oberlin), Strine Award (University of Arts), and Zierler Award (Peabody). He has had extensive performance experience as a soloist and chamber musician in the U.S. and abroad. Among his recent appearances are performances with the National Gallery Orchestra, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and the St. Petersburg Symphony. He has recorded as solo artist and with chamber groups on the MRC and Musician's Showcase labels. He is also active as a composer and conductor in the Baltimore area. He joined the Juilliard Pre-College faculty in 2001 and was formerly a member of the faculty at Peabody Conservatory and Towson University (Maryland). He holds a BM from Oberlin Conservatory, a MM from University of Arts, and a DMA from Peabody Conservatory. He had early studies in piano, organ, and composition in the Pittsburgh area, and later studies with Sanford Margolis, Jonathan Shames, and Yoheved Kaplinsky.