Opera Philadelphia

Meet Composer in Residence David Hertzberg

By Opera Phila

David Hertzberg, whose music “demonstrates that a gifted young composer can be inspired by masters and still speak with a vibrantly personal style” (The New York Times), has been selected as the fifth Composer in Residence at Opera Philadelphia, in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group in New York. David was chosen from over 150 applicants for the position and now has the opportunity to follow a personalized development track focused on the advancement of his skills as an operatic composer.

David Hertzberg
David Hertzberg Credit: Adam Moskowitz

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program fosters tomorrow’s American operatic masterpieces through personalized creative development and intensive, hands-on composition opportunities for today’s most promising opera composers. The Composer in Residence position combines its individualized plan of study with a living stipend and health benefits.

Of his appointment, Hertzberg said, “I am very much looking forward to spending the next three years working closely with such dynamic and creative companies as Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Music-Theatre Group.  Opera is, for me, coterminous with music, and has completely shaped my aesthetic world. I look forward to delving as deeply into this medium as I can.”

Hailed as “opulently gifted” (Opera News) and “utterly original” (the New York Times)  the music of David Hertzberg (b. 1990, Los Angeles) is swiftly garnering recognition, with recent seasons seeing performances at the festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Santa Fe, and on the stages of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall.

“David Hertzberg has a virtuosic quality to his writing that begs for opera and we couldn’t be more thrilled to foster that development within the Composer in Residence program,” said David B. Devan, General Director and President of Opera Philadelphia. “He is already so inspired by and steeped in the operatic world that you can anticipate his powerful and passionate voice within it. This is a composer who has something to say!”

for none shall gaze upon the Father


David began his musical studies in violin, piano, and composition at the Colburn School and received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with distinction from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Adler. At his commencement, he was awarded the John Erskine Prize for outstanding artistic achievement throughout the course of his studies. He holds an Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

He began his appointment as Composer in Residence on June 1, 2015, joining Andrew Norman, who was appointed in September 2013; and David T. Little, who was appointed in June 2014. Missy Mazzoli, who was appointed in September 2012, and Lembit Beecher, who was the first composer appointed to the program in September 2011, have both completed their three-year residencies.

Highlights of David's 2014-2015 season included premieres of new works for Young Concert Artists, the PRISM Quartet, Network for New Music, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, with performances at Merkin Hall and Symphony Space, as well as performances at the Kennedy Center, features on APM’sPerformance Today and Hong Kong's Intimacy of Creativity festival, and performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. Other upcoming projects include new works for pianist Steven Lin and violinist In Mo Yang, both of which will premiere on the 2015-16 Concert Artists Guild series at Carnegie Hall, and a large-scale concert work for Gotham Chamber Opera, to be premiered at (le) poisson rouge in the spring of 2016.

Learn more about the Composer in Residence program


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