David Cerutti performs internationally as violist and violist d’amore. He is co-principal violist of Orchestra of St. Luke’s and has been a member of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble since 2008. He appears regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, has been a guest soloist for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is a regular participant in the Helicon Concert Series, founded by the late Albert Fuller. David is a former member of the Smithson String Quartet and has been a guest artist with the Brentano String Quartet and Cygnus Ensemble. He has collaborated with members of Ensemble Archibudelli on a recording of the Mendelssohn and Gade string octets, performed on Stradivarius instruments for the Sony Classical label, and his unedited performance of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 was chosen by National Public Radio as one of seven best live recordings of Bach from Performance Today. His recordings of Brahms’ Sextet No. 2 and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht are soon to be released this year on the Meyer Media label. In 2012, David was featured viola d’amore soloist in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Janáček’s Makropoulos Case, and he is presently collaborating on a viola concerto with Mika Pelo, composer-in-residence at University of California, Davis. In the 2012/2013 season, he joined the Loma Mar Quartet (including fellow Orchestra of St. Luke’s members Krista Bennion Feeney, Myron Lutzke, and Anca Nicolau) in two weeks of performances of Schoenberg’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 for the San Francisco Ballet. He has composed several works and currently is writing a piece for the Seattle-based Odeon String Quartet.
Photo credit Paul Goode
Get to Know David
If you could meet any musician, past or present, who would you choose?
J.S. Bach. I have lots of questions for him, especially regarding the cello suites and the performance practices as he knew them, in all their subtlety.
Where are we most likely to find you when you’re not playing?
Probably either cooking or eating.
When did you begin playing your instrument and why?
I started playing the viola at age 12. I was tired of the accordion and couldn’t get a grip on the double bass. Besides, my middle school string ensemble needed a violist. I had an instant connection with its timbre, and its complex, ever-changing role in chamber music has always suited me well. As some composers have found out, often near the end of their lives, the viola is a fantastic solo instrument too.
If you were to play a different instrument, what would it be?
I’d sing. The cello and French horn tie closely for second place.
What is your favorite place you have traveled?