David Friend (Solo Piano)

Saturday, February 17, 2018 · 7:30PM

Bread & Salt

1955 Julian Avenue

San Diego, CA 92113

Tickets at the door: $20/$10 for students


David Friend is a New York-based pianist known for his performances of new and experimental music. Originally from coastal Louisiana, Friend moved to New York to study with Phillip Kawin at the Manhattan School of Music where he received a rigorous traditional conservatory education while also immersing himself in the city's underground art world and street activism.


His career today continues to reflect this dual trajectory—an interest in pushing past conventional boundaries paired with the highest level of technical execution. David Friend is a member of Ensemble Signal, TRANSIT New Music, Grand Band Piano Sextet, and Bent Duo, and also performs frequently with other notable groups such as the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the American Composers Orchestra. His career has taken him across the country and the globe, and he has performed new music in spaces as disparate as Carnegie Hall, a community arts center in rural Alaska, and major electronic music festivals in Europe. Critics have described his playing 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." He has recorded for a wide variety of labels and is featured on Third Coast Percussion's 2017 Grammy-winning album of music by Steve Reich.


In his solo projects, David Friend is especially interested in featuring works that investigate what piano music can be in contemporary culture. This broad search for innovation can manifest in a variety of ways:  through new concepts in piano technique, new experiments with technology, new ways of structuring music and sound, or simply by engaging directly with the contemporary world. The conventional piano recital, as we know it, developed two hundred years ago—in a society that has changed in countless ways, surely a reevaluation of the piano recital is also in order? By programming and collaborating with composers and creative artists who are working on the cutting edge and by rethinking the conventional frameworks in which we are usually presented piano music, David Friend seeks to create new pathways of mutual relevance between piano music and contemporary culture in the twenty-first century.