Introducing David Creswell!

What’s your name?

My full name is David Nelson Creswell.  I have at least a dozen nicknames: I seem to attract a new one every year or so.

Where are you from?

I was born in Columbus, OH.  My family moved to Okemos, MI when I was 6.  I went to the Cleveland Institute of Music for school, and then moved out here to New York City.

How did you come to the viola?

There were 2 factors: First, there is an amazing music program in the public school in Okemos, where I grew up originally run by Marilyn Kessler.  There is an amazing number of professional musicians that come out of that school.  The program is Suzuki method-based, and starts in the 5th grade, which is when I picked up the viola.  (I tried piano for a year before that and was terrible.)  Second, I picked the viola because my older brother Steve had started it 4 years before.  I think I wanted to both emulate and try to be better than him, too.  He’s now a professional in Seattle, WA, specializing in period performance on violin and viola.  I played a violin for the first time when I was 16, but by that point I was stuck on the viola.

Are you a Juilliard student?  Were you?  Or do you now work as part of the studio?

Ever since moving here from Cleveland I’ve been doing various teaching with the studio at Heidi’s request, from audition preparation to euthythmics classes.

Tell us about one of your favorite performances?

I played the Bartok Concerto with the Greenwich Symphony last January, and my mother drove herself all the way from Michigan to hear it.  It just made me think of all those hours she spent driving me to lessons and competitions when I was young!

If you could play any non-viola piece, what would it be?

Someday I will learn to play the Chapman Stick: an ingenious hybrid electric guitar/bass.

Who made your viola and how did you get to be the one playing it?

I play on a viola by Gaetano Gadda made in Mantua in 1927.  I spent years looking for something to beat my previous instrument, and finally found this one about 4 years ago.  Somehow it matches me more and more each year, and it’s a joy to play.  I can’t wait to open the case every day.

You are forced by the United States Government to not practice for a day.  What do you do with yourself?

Run, bike, travel to another continent, and take lots of photographs.  (I can manage that in one day, right?)

Do you have a website?

I don’t have a music website, but my photography can be seen at www.flickr.com/photos/cresny

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