Professor of Viola and Chamber Music
David Harding has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Central America and Australia, in such renowned venues as Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and New York’s 92nd Street Y and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Noted for his “eloquent viola playing” (The Scotsman), David has performed at music festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh International Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Sitka Chamber Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and Philip Glass’ “Days and Nights Festival” in Big Sur, California. David’s career has involved collaborations with leading instrumentalists and ensembles such as the Pacifica, Shanghai, Cypress, Dover, Fine Arts and Miro Quartets as well as the Gryphon Trio. David was formerly a member of the Toronto String Quartet and the Chester String Quartet (“one of the country’s best and brightest young string quartets,” — Boston Globe) as well as the Canadian string trio “Triskelion.” With his wife, flutist Lorna McGhee and harpist, Heidi Krutzen, David is a member of Trio Verlaine.
David’s live performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio (Canada), BBC Radio 3 (UK), NPR’s ‘Performance Today’ (USA), ABC (Australia) and Deutschland Radio. David has recorded two CDs with Trio Verlaine; “ Fin de Siècle, the music of Debussy and Ravel” (noted by the Vancouver Sun for “ravishing playing”) and “Six Departures” featuring works by Bax and Jolivet alongside new commissions by R. Murray Schafer and Jeffery Cotton. Upon release, “Six Departures” was chosen to be CBC Radio’s ‘Classical CD of the Week.’ Other notable recording projects include Philip Glass’ String Sextet and Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” on Orange Mountain Records, Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” with the string trio Triskelion for CBC records, the music of Aaron Jay Kernis with the Chester Quartet, and Brahms’ Viola Sonatas with pianist Phillip Bush for Skylark Music.
In addition to performing the core chamber music literature, David enjoys working closely with composers on new commissions and has helped to expand the repertoire for viola with four solo commissions, and five chamber music commissions to date. In collaboration with Philip Glass, he has worked on interdisciplinary projects with poets Jerry Quickley, Mike Garry, and kora player, Foday Musa Suso. David has worked alongside rock musicians in studio sessions, and arranged the string tracks for the Juno-winning, Grammy-nominated album “Mad Mad World” by Tom Cochrane. Prior to joining the Chester Quartet and embarking on a chamber music career, David was Assistant Principal Viola of the Canadian Opera Company, and performed and recorded with renowned early music ensemble, Tafelmusik.
The depth of David’s musical experience and knowledge make him perfectly placed to help the next generation of musicians. As a devoted and sought-after teacher, David is currently Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He has given masterclasses throughout North America, at institutions such as the University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory, Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. David was formerly Associate Professor of Viola at the University of British Columbia, and with the Chester String Quartet, “Ensemble in Residence” at Indiana University South Bend. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and winner of the Sir John Barbirolli Award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, David’s primary teachers were Tibor Vaghy, Paul Doktor and Emmanuel Vardi. He performs on violas made by Nicolas Gilles, Montpellier, France and Pietro Antonio Della Costa, Treviso, Italy.