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David Friend


David Friend is a pianist specializing in contemporary and experimental repertoire. His playing has been called “astonishingly compelling” by the Washington Post and the New York Times has heralded him as “[one] of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene.” He has performed new and experimental music around the world, including at major venues such as Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royal Festival Hall (London), the Chan Centre (Vancouver), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing). He regularly performs with a wide array of contemporary music groups including Ensemble Signal, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Hotel Elefant, Le Train Bleu, and the Bang on a Can Festival Ensemble. He is a founding member of the NYC-based piano sextet Grand Band as well as TRANSIT New Music, a collective dedicated to performing the works of emerging composers from around the world. He has released two albums for New Amsterdam Records (Corps Exquis, with TRANSIT New Music and The Julius Eastman Memory Depot, a joint project with electronic artist Jace Clayton, pianist Emily Manzo, Sufi singer Arooj Aftab, and writer Shrifa Rhodes-Pitts) and has been heard on radio programs including National Public Radio’s Performance Today. David Friend studied at the Manhattan School of Music, where he attained both Bachelors and Masters degrees working with pianist Phillip Kawin. Currently, he is a student in the DMA Critical Performance program at Cornell, where he focuses on experimental repertoire with Xak Bjerken.


  • Music