Introducing David Lau!


What’s your name?

David Thomas Lau

Where are you from?

I am from Oregon. I grew up on a hazelnut farm surrounded by forests about 40 minutes away from the Pacific ocean. Spent a year living at Interlochen for high School before moving to NYC to study at Juilliard afterwhich I moved to the small Hanseatic town of Lübeck, Germany near Hamburg. Three years ago I moved to Leipzig where I currently reside.

How did you come to the viola?

I had always wanted to play the violin since as long as I can remember, but as my parents had no musical connections and we lived in the middle of nowhere I just had to wait until an oppurtunity presented itself. When I was 11 I learned that the next school district over had a strings program and because our farm had property in both districts I told my parents I was switching schools to learn the violin. On the first day of class we got to try all the different string instruments. After trying bass and the Cello I tried the viola, the teacher told me I had nice sound on it so I took the viola. What really happened was that she needed violas in the orchestra and I pretty much thought it was the same thing.

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

I studied at Juilliard with Heidi and Hsin-Yun for my Bachelors 2002-2006.

Tell us about one of your favorite performances?

Last year I played all the Beethoven symphonies over five days in the Musikverein in Vienna with the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Before then I had only played two of them and had never played in Vienna before. It was a great experience.

If you could perform any viola piece, what would it be?

Schnittke Viola Concerto. I love it! Always have always will.

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

Ravel Tzigane or sing the soprano part in the last movement of Mahler 4.

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

Daniel Mason from Chicago. I got it when I was 14 from the violin shop I worked weekends at in Portland. He said I needed something bigger and it was cheap so I took it. We tweeked it in the shop on weekends and now it sounds fantastic.

Do you have any secret skills?

Getting pretty good these days at the singing saw and overtone singing.

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

Head to Berlin and go dancing

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