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Cello Chat with Host Dr. Benjamin Whitcomb and guest David Caplan

About the Episode 

On this episode from 2021, I interview a former student of mine that attended the summer cello clinic.

Meet the Guest

Born 1999 in Skokie, Illinois, David Caplan began his musical studies at the age of ten. He has studied with Amir Eldan, Daniel McDonough, Dmitry Kouzov, Jonathan Pegis, Benjamin Whitcomb, and Adelaide Hagari. As an avid chamber musician, David, along with Quartet Bellezza, won first prize at the 2017 Discover Chamber Music Competition, first prize and audience prize in the junior division of WDAV's Young Musician's Chamber Competition, and the junior division gold medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Quartet Bellezza was also one of six groups accepted to the 2018 Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. David was also a finalist in the 2020 Coltman Chamber Music Competition, with Trio Verite. Recent chamber music engagements include concerts in Kansas City and the University of Kansas with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, a world premiere performance of Leo Discenza's You Saved me, for Mezzo Soprano and Cello, at Northwestern University, a performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Yaron Kohlberg, Fabiola Kim, Yizhak Schotten, and Nicholas Walker, a performance of Brahms' Bb Sextet with Amir Eldan, Yizhak Schotten, and Fabiola Kim, a performance of Brahms' Op. 114 trio at Oberlin College, and concerts in Baltimore and New York City with the Continuum Chamber Collective. David has also appeared in recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series at the Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist in Chicago and live on WFMT Chicago. David was the winner of the 2016 Birch Creek concerto competition, which led to his orchestral debut, performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto with the Birch Creek Orchestra. In 2017, David appeared as soloist and chamber musician on NPR's From the Top with host Christopher O'Riley as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist in Longview, Texas, and Reno, Nevada. As an orchestral musician, David is a principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has performed regularly with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Kankakee Valley Symphony, Music of the Baroque, and Sinfonia da Camera. He has performed under the baton of conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Hannu Lintu, Ludovic Morlot, Gemma New, Daniel Harding, Robert Spano, Dame Jane Glover, Jordan de Souza, Ken-David Masur, Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Giancarlo Guerrero, Carlos Kalmar, David Danzmayr, Petr Popelka, George Manahan, Andrew Grams, David Afkham, James Gaffigan, Kerem Hasan, Constantine Kitsopoulos, Hugh Wolff, Ian Hobson, Stilian Kirov, Allan Dennis, Gerhardt Zimmermann, Vladimir Kulenovic, Ormsby Wilkins, Hilel Kagan, Victor Yampolsky, Donald Schleicher, Kyle Dickson, Kenneth Kiesler, Julian Kuerti, Timothy Muffitt, Rossen Milanov, and Jose Luis Gomez. David has performed with a wide range of artists, including: Seong-Jin Cho, Gil Shaham, Stefan Jackiw, Tai Murray, Xavier Foley, Hilary Hahn, Zlatomir Fung, Awadagin Pratt, Joyce Yang, Natalie Merchant, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Paul Cardall, Kahil El'Zabar, Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, the American Ballet Theater, and Thee Phantom and the Illharmonic Orchestra. David has a Master's Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied under the tutelage of Amir Eldan. David also performed in the U-M Baroque Chamber Orchestra and studied baroque cello with Eva Lymenstull. Prior to his time in Michigan, David received his Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Daniel McDonough, of the Jupiter String Quartet. David has a burning passion for teaching others and showcasing the power of music, and is a frequent guest clinician at Midwest Young Artists’ Conservatory, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and ArtsAhimsa Chamber Music Festival. David enjoys being a part of the Civic Mentors program, which provides coachings to music students at various Chicago high schools. David has taught at Kenwood Academy, Northside College Prep, Mather, Amundsen, Lake Forest, Hersey, and Maine South High Schools. He has also taught for Young Music Scholars, an organization that provides free lessons to underserved children. David has made appearances at the Chautauqua, Aspen, and Taos summer music festivals, and was a fellow with the Grant Park Orchestra in 2023.

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