Erin Burkholder grew up in the mountains of British Columbia, where her first violin teacher was her grandmother. She attended McGill University for her bachelor of music in performance, studying under Denise Lupien and Axel Strauss. She was the winner of the 2013 McGill Chamber Competition with her string quartet, the Vitus Quartet, and won a residency at the Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Burkholder attended the New England Conservatory for her masters degree under Paul Biss, graduating in the spring of 2018. While at school in Boston she freelanced and participated in outreach programs with her quartet, the Mazarine String Quartet, and played with the Boston Philharmonic along with other orchestras and chamber ensembles in the Boston area. She spent two summers as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center where she served as concertmaster and assistant concertmaster. She has concertized as a soloist in Montréal, Vancouver, Boston, and other cities.