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BIO (300 words)

David Friend is taking piano performance in new directions. As chamber musician, soloist, and in interdisciplinary projects, he is dedicated to projects that push boundaries and explore new ideas about what contemporary pianism can be in the twenty-first century. A fearless performer, critics have described his performances as "astonishingly compelling" (Washington Post), "magical" (New York Concert Review), and the New York Times calls him one "of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York's contemporary-classical scene."

 

He has performed at major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall (London), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and in major festivals including the Lincoln Center Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Prague Spring Festival, CTM Festival, and the Bang on a Can Marathon.

 

David Friend has performed with respected ensembles suchs as Ensemble Signal, Alarm Will Sound, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and he is a founding member of TRANSIT New Music, Bent Duo, Hotel Elefant, and Grand Band, NYC's piano sextet super-group. He collaborates extensively with living composers and has worked with some of the most notable composers of our time including Pulitzer prizewinners Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Steven Stucky, and Charles Wuorinen. He has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Harmonia Mundi, Albany, Dacapo, Cedille, Innova, and a wave press labels, and his performances have been broadcast nationally on radio programs such as NPR's Performance Today, WQXR's Hammered!, and WNYC's New Sounds.

As a soloist, David Friend is noted for his charismatic performances and his thoughtful programming. By developing compelling solo programming and engaging meaningfully with the audience, he brings a twenty-first century approach to the nineteenth-century concept of the piano recital. 

 

BIO (150 words)

 

David Friend is taking piano performance in new directions. As chamber musician, soloist, and in interdisciplinary projects, he is dedicated to projects that push boundaries and explore new ideas about what contemporary pianism can be in the twenty-first century. A fearless performer, critics have described his performances as "astonishingly compelling" (Washington Post), "magical" (New York Concert Review), and The New York Times calls him one "of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York's contemporary-classical scene."

 

He has performed at major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall (London), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and in major festivals including the Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Gilmore, and Beijing Modern Music Festival. He has performed regularly with respected ensembles including Ensemble Signal, Bent Duo, Grand Band, Alarm Will Sound, American Composers Orchestra, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

 

As a soloist, David Friend is noted for his charismatic performances and his thoughtful programming. By developing compelling solo programming and engaging meaningfully with the audience, he brings a twenty-first century approach to the nineteenth-century concept of the piano recital format.  

 

BIO (75 words)

 

David Friend is taking piano performance in new directions. As chamber musician, soloist, and in interdisciplinary projects, his performances have been hailed as "astonishingly compelling" (Washington Post) and he has performed at major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall (London), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing). As soloist, David Friend is noted for charismatic performances and thoughtful programming. Through compelling solo programs and meaningful audience engagement, he brings a twenty-first century approach to the nineteenth-century piano recital format.  

 

 

 

 

BIO

David Friend is taking piano performance in new directions. As a chamber musician, soloist, and in interdisciplinary collaborations, he is dedicated to projects that push boundaries and explore new ideas about what contemporary pianism can be in the twenty-first century. A fearless performer, he has been hailed by critics for his adventurous programming, his commanding technique, and his captivating performances. His playing has been described as "astonishingly compelling" (Washington Post) and the New York Times calls him "[one] of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York's contemporary-classical scene."

 

David Friend has performed at major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, Royal Festival Hall (London), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), the Chan Centre (Vancouver), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing). He has also performed extensively in alternative and underground venues including (Le) Poisson Rouge, Issue Project Room, Roulette, National Sawdust, MoMA P.S. 1, St. Ann's Warehouse, REDCAT, Betalevel (Los Angeles), Constellation (Chicago), Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, LiteraturHaus (Copenhagen), Music Gallery (Toronto), and Logos Tetrahedron (Ghent), and has appeared in major festivals including the Lincoln Center Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic's Next on Grand Festival, Prague Spring Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival,  Rewire Festival (the Hague), Bang on a Can Marathon, CTM Festival (Berlin), Big Ears Festival, June in Buffalo, Ultima Festival (Oslo), and the New York Electronic Art Festival. He has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Harmonia Mundi, Albany, Cedille, Dacapo, Innova, and a wave press labels, and his playing has been heard on radio stations across the country, including on National Public Radio's Performance Today, WQXR's Hammered!, and WNYC's New Sounds.

As a champion of new and experimental music, David Friend prizes the process of collaborating with other artists and has worked with some of the most notable composers of our time including Pulitzer prizewinners Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Steven Stucky, and Charles Wuorinen. He is also especially dedicated to the work of young and emerging composers. As a founding member of TRANSIT New Music, he has worked closely over the years with dozens of emerging composers from around the world, including many who have gone on to establish themselves as important new voices:  Tristan Perich, Caroline Shaw, Ted Hearne, Missy Mazzoli, Sean Friar, Kate Moore, Daniel Wohl, and Angélica Negrón, among many others. He has performed extensively in Columbia University's Composer Portraits series with a variety of ensembles, and he workshopped and premiered Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer, an evening-length chamber piece that was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer prize. In 2019, he performed the collaborative multimedia work by Steve Reich and Gerhard Richter that was commissioned for the opening season of The Shed (NYC), performing the new work for over 30,000 people over the course of several weeks with his colleagues in Ensemble Signal.

 

A dedicated chamber musician, David Friend is a core member of Ensemble Signal, Hotel Elefant, Grand Band, and TRANSIT New Music. He also performs regularly with respected ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Alarm Will Sound, Either/Or, Talujon Percussion, Vigil Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, Mantra Percussion, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Pamplemousse, Ensemble X, Experiments in Opera, Wordless Music Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Red Light New Music, and Third Coast Percussion. He was the pianist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for three years and is a frequent collaborator with violinist Laurie Carney (American String Quartet) with whom he is featured on Parting the Veil: Works for Violin and Piano by Robert Sirota (Albany Records). 

 

David Friend is a founding member of several innovative ensembles: TRANSIT New Music is a scrappy young collective dedicated to the support and dissemination of new and experimental music by emerging composers from around the world; Hotel Elefant is the "megatalented" (Time Out New York) NYC-based ensemble dedicated to the work of living composers; Grand Band is NYC's groundbreaking piano sextet, the "new-music supergroup" (New York Times) that has been delighting audiences with its unconventional instrumentation and phenomenal performances since debuting at the Bang on a Can Festival in 2012; and Bent Duo is an experimental project with percussionist Bill Solomon that explores new approaches to music and performance alongside the existing repertoire for piano and percussion. 

 

David Friend also enjoys projects that transcend disciplinary boundaries and collaborations that reconceptualize conventional ideas about musical performance. As part of Jace Clayton's Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner project, he recorded an album and staged performances of a multifaceted project for two pianos, DJ, and vocalist centering on the revolutionary works of composer Julius Eastman. He has developed original performance pieces in conjunction with the Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University) that incorporate the piano and the performer in unconventional ways, and has also explored creative projects in the realm of sound installation and digital technology. He has worked extensively with artists from other disciplines, including the video art collective Satan's Pearl Horses and a variety of dance projects, and he has performed with innovative musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds such as Bill Frisell (guitar innovator), Lesley Flanigan (sound artist), Laurel Halo (electronic musician), and Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japanese pop icon). As part of Bent Duo, he creates original work in a variety of formats, including 2018's Out of the Into the, which was premiered at the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University.

 

As a soloist, David Friend is noted for his charismatic performances and his compelling programming. He has extensive experience in a wide array of extended techniques and innovative performance practices, and he has extensively studied the prepared piano music of John Cage. He has lectured on extended piano techniques at institutions including the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Eastman School of Music, and Cornell University. He is a fearless concerto soloist and has tackled daunting works, including Cage's Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra, and has also premiered new solo works by Daniel Wohl, Angélica Negrón, Tim Hansen, and Jerome Begin. He views the role of the soloist as providing a uniquely intimate view into the mind of the composer, and as an opportunity to draw listeners in to the visceral core of music. Through thoughtful programming and meaningful audience engagement, David Friend reenergizes the nineteenth-century concept of the piano recital for the twenty-first century.

David Friend was raised near the Louisiana coast, a region renowned for its rich cultural and natural beauty. He moved to NYC to study with Phillip Kawin at the Manhattan School of Music, where he obtained both Bachelors and Masters degrees. He furthered his studies at Cornell University with Xak Bjerken in the Keyboard Studies doctoral program, where he focused on experimental and contemporary keyboard performance practices. He completed his doctorate in 2019, and his dissertation focuses on Tristan Perich and the New Music Community in the early twenty-first century. He is based in New York City.