David Bursack began his viola studies at the age of six. He studied with Byrnina Socolofsky until the age of 14, when he began studies with Kim Kashkashian at the New School of Music in Philadelphia. After graduating high school with honors, he began his studies at the Juilliard School of Music, where his primary teachers were William Lincer, Paul Zukofsky, and the members of the Juilliard String Quartet. Among the awards he received while at Juilliard were the Billy Strayhorn Scholarship, the National Federation of Music Clubs Scholarship, and the Gluck Fellowship. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1988 and his Master’s Degree in 1990.
While living in New York, David acted as Principal Violist for many regional orchestras including the Riverside Symphony, the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the New York Symphonic Ensemble. With the New York Symphonic Ensemble David has made 18 tours of Japan and Taiwan, performing both as Principal Viola and as soloist, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Paganini’s Sonata per La Gran’ Viola ed Orchestra. With the NY Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra David gave the American premiere of Schnittke’s Monolog for Viola and String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1993.
David is also very involved in the commissioning and performance of new music. He was the principal/solo violist for such groups as Continuum, Ensemble Sospeso, The Cygnus Ensemble, and Ensemble ST-X, devoted to the performance of the music of Xenakis. He has worked one-on-one with such composers as John Cage, Milton Babbitt, Sofia Gubaidulina, Vincent Persichetti, Peter Eotvos, Iannis Xenakis, and George Crumb. He has commissioned works for viola and electronic sounds by Eric Chasalow, Wesley Fuller and James Dashow.
For seven years David was the Solo Violist of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, performing as chamber musician and as soloist in such venues as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Lincoln Center in New York City, and in many other important halls throughout the world.
After moving to Italy, David was the violist of the Quartetto Fonè in Florence. He also worked with such conductors as Michael Halasz, Ennio Morricone, Claudio Scimone and Boris Brott.
David is currently a tenured member of the Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, under the direction of Maestro Antonio Pappano. With his current orchestra David has performed all over the world in such venues as The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and many others. The orchestra currently records on the EMI label and has won many major awards for its recordings. David has also recorded for Deutsche Grammophon with the Santa Cecilia Chamber Orchestra.