David Aaron Carpenter



David Aaron Carpenter, 2010 recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant and First Prize Winner of the Walter E. Naumburg Viola Competition, has exploded onto the scene as one of the world’s most exciting young musicians. Die Welt called him, “A New Star at the Forefront of Violists,” while The Philadelphia Inquirer says he is “an overnight-star violist,” while The Strad Magazine described Carpenter as a violist whose “soulful sound, committed playing, and dazzling technique leaves little to desire.” Since making his debut at the Walton Viola Concerto in 2005 with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, David has performed with leading musicians and orchestras in the United States and Europe.

Last year, he made his debut in Germany with the Dresden Staatskapelle performing the Schnittke Viola Concerto. In 2008, he was Maxim Vengerov’s last-minute replacement for performances of Benjamin Yusupov’s “Viola, Tango, Rock” Concerto with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland. He has performed in the United States at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Krannert Center in Chicago, and San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, among many other venues. In September, David released his first recording on the Ondine label of the Elgar Cello Concerto (arranged by Lionel Tertis/Carpenter) and the Schnittke Viola Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Maestro Christoph Eschenbach. The disc received international acclaim and earned a number of prestigious awards, including the Editor’s Choice Award by Gramophone Magazine and Disc of the Month by The New Yorker. As a chamber musician, David has played with renowned artists Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Sol Gabetta, Leonidas Kavakos, Julian Rachlin, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yuja Wang and performs regularly at the Schleswig-Holstein and Verbier Music Festivals.

Born in New York in 1986 into a family of musical siblings, David began his musical studies on the violin at age six with Nicole DiCecco and at age 11 on the viola. He pursued both instruments at the pre-college divisions of the Juilliard and the Manhattan Schools of Music in New York under the tutelage of Toby Appel, Lewis Kaplan, Isaac Malkin, and Christina Khimm. He continued his studies with world-renowned viola pedagogues Yuri Bashmet, Roberto Diaz, Nobuko Imai, Robert Mann, Pinchas Zukerman. In 2005, David won the First Prize in the Greenfield Young Artists Competition and in 2006 he won the highly coveted First Prize at the Walter E. Naumburg Viola Competition. David was presented with the Presidential Gold Medal at a performance in Washington’s Kennedy Center after winning the first ever Gold Award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA). In June 2007, he became the first American protégé for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with mentor Pinchas Zukerman. In addition to his musical accomplishments, David received his A.B. degree in Political Science and International Relations from Princeton University in 2008.

Catch David Aaron Carpenter on tour with Rocktopia, the world’s most bombastic, exhilarating classical music and classic rock concert! Get tickets to the show nearest you!