Final Note: Caroline Erika Buckman

Member. Viola
6/5/1974 – 3/5/2023

Caroline Erika Buckman, a talented violist and cherished friend to many, passed away on March 5 in Los Angeles after a valiant six-year battle with breast cancer. She was 48 years old.

Born on June 5, 1974, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Caroline was the daughter of John and Erika Buckman. She graduated from Charlottesville High School in 1992, where she served as principal violist of the school orchestra, captain of the lacrosse team, and a member of the swimming and diving teams. Caroline was also active in numerous clubs and served as class treasurer. She continued her education at Arizona State University, studying viola performance under Dr. William Majors and earning her Bachelor of Arts in 1998. In 2001, Caroline earned a master’s degree in viola performance from the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden, Germany.

Caroline relocated to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue her passion for music, performing with prestigious ensembles such as the Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and New West symphonies, and the Long Beach and Santa Barbara Opera orchestras. She played for top artists at award shows such as the Grammys, American Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and Academy Awards and toured with world-renowned musicians including Gnarls Barkley, the Jonas Brothers, the Last Shadow Puppets, and the Percy Faith Orchestra. Caroline’s talent also extended to TV and film, where she worked on popular productions such as “Prey,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Deadpool,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Frozen,” “Up,” “Ratatouille,” “Lost,” “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Better Call Saul,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “Family Guy.” She was a sought-after recording artist, working with composers such as John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Chris Bacon, and Danny Elfman, and played alongside iconic musicians like Aimee Mann, Barry Manilow, Blake Shelton, Brian Wilson, Christina Aguilera, Harry Styles, Josh Groban, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Michael Bublé, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Patti LaBelle, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., and Reba McEntire.

Off stage, Caroline enjoyed spending time with her close friends, hiking the many trails of Los Angeles, and indulging in streaming shows, especially true crime docuseries and British crime dramas. She had a love for travel and had visited various countries in Europe, Asia, South America, Austria, and New Zealand. Caroline also loved spending time with her cherished spaniel, Iischa.

Caroline will be remembered for her beauty, grace, and kindheartedness, as well as her infectious energy, smile, and laughter. She was preceded in death by her father, John, and is survived by her mother, Erika; her brother, Daniel; her sister, Simone; her devoted boyfriend, Mitch; and her beloved dog, Iischa.

A special thanks to Dr. David Hoffman and everyone at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who were part of Caroline’s team over the past six years. She received the best care available anywhere, and we are very grateful to all of you.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to Caroline’s friends across the globe, particularly those in Los Angeles, who have provided physical, emotional, and spiritual assistance to Caroline and her family. Your presence by her side, the meals you shared, the trips you took together, and the appointments you accompanied her to have been invaluable.

In lieu of sending flowers, please consider a donation to the Southern California Viola Society, which has established the Caroline E. Buckman Memorial Scholarship, Stand Up To Cancer, or the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

The Caroline E. Buckman Memorial Scholarship will help young violists attend their annual event, ViolaFest. Donations can be made at their website by selecting the scholarship from the dropdown menu: