American pianist David Syme is known for his concerts in such venues as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and in major halls throughout 11 European countries, Canada and Mexico. This Juilliard-trained musician also represented the U.S.A. in international piano competitions in Moscow and Warsaw to critical acclaim.
His major teachers were Jorge Bolet (Indiana University), Ozan Marsh (University of Arizona) and Sascha Gorodnitzki (Juilliard), and he also worked with Louis Kentner in London.
His extensive recording career includes over 20 CDâ€™s with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia, the Czech National Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, and the Mineria Orchestra of Mexico City.
Since mid-1990, David has become known to millions of radio listeners through his live call-in request shows. From his West Bloomfield, MI, home, David plays live on radio stations from coast to coast, and has been heard in every major market in the country. His Gershwin concert with the Mexico City Symphony is shown repeatedly on A&E and ARTS TV stations (it is in rotation and is seen virtually every night somewhere in the U.S and Mexico). Because of the tremendous exposure of this video clip, David is becoming known as a definitive interpreter of Gershwin.
In the late â€˜90â€™s, Syme toured the U.S. playing 185 promotional dates as GMCâ€™s â€œMusical Ambassadorâ€. Recent appearances have included performances with the Los Angeles Pops Orchestra, the Tucson Pops Orchestra, corporate dates for major international companies, and a special concert for president Bushâ€™s mother Barbara Bush and 35 invited guests (plus 15 Secret Service agents!) at Caesarâ€™s Palace in Las Vegas.
Career highlights include performances for the president of Mexico and former President Clinton.
In 2000, David toured England as soloist with the Czech National Symphony, as well as appearing with them several times in Prague. The Prague Post recently said of Syme â€œHe perches on the piano bench like an ungainly swallow, but the sounds that emerge from the Steinway are more beautiful than any a nightingale could make. David Syme, 51, is a consummate pianist ---- bold and forceful, subtle and tender, summoning whatever the notes call for, but injecting his own affinity, interpretation and flexibility.â€
His 2001-2002 schedule included seven performances of Rhapsody In Blue in Great Britain with the Czech National Symphony and Maestro Paul Freeman. Following are two reviews from that tour:
"A well judged performance of The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and an atmospheric one of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man had their place but it was the aggressive interpretation of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with David Syme electric at the piano, which stood out."
Northampton Chronicle & Echo
8th November 2001
"And pianist David Syme - in his second Gershwin performance at the Royal Centre - supplied the native input in an exuberantly flowing account of Rhapsody in Blue."
Nottingham Evening Post
7th November 2001
"There was authentic Paul Whiteman sound in a knockout Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, superbly driven on by David Syme, a brilliant pianist despite a strange keyboard technique.
With eyes shut, you could believe Gershwin himself was playing, so intrinsically right did the music sound, detached, yet meaningful in true blues-ian style."
9th November 2001
In 2003 he recorded the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto in Prague with that same orchestra.
Syme has recently returned from a tour of the Czech Republic in January and February of 2005, playing Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 and the Gershwin Concerto in F in plus several solo dates.
Here are some reviews from this tour:
Olomouc, Czech Republic
January 28, 2005
â€œâ€¦the high point of the concert (was) in the reading of Gershwin's Concerto In F. This three-movement work was characterized by splendid performances not only of David Syme but also of all instrumental sections of the MPO. David Syme showed us what is called perfection in America. In every detail it proved fascinating. This Gershwin performance transfixed the public, who forced the pianist to give three encores. The audience in Reduta Hall gave him standing ovations...â€
A new star has arisen over the Czech Republic
by Vaclav Zenovczek
Olomoucky hudebni Å¾ivot (Olomouc Musical Life)
Olomouc, Czech Republic
January 31, 2005
Last Thursday, Jan. 27, the Moravian Philharmonic of Olomouc hosted American pianist David Syme in a performance of unparalleled splendor.
Although not a youth, Mr. Syme played the Gershwin Concerto in F with all of the passion and fire of someone twenty years younger. His performance brought the audience and orchestra to their feet, cheering, and required seven curtain calls and two encores before he was allowed to leave the stage. Olomouc has not experienced standing ovation in last seven years!
The conductor, Frantisek Preisler, said that he has never in his entire career heard the Gershwin work played with this combination of strength and beauty.
After playing this week at the National Museum in Prague, at the House of Culture in Teplice and next week's performance of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 with the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Syme returns to the U.S. Not for long, we hope! He is now welcome also as a visitor to these surroundings.
He made his Tucson (AZ) Symphony debut in March 2005 with Rhapsody In Blue.
In the fall of 2005, he played Tchaikovsky Concerto # 1 with the Champaign-Urbana (IL)
Symphony as well as the Rhapsody In Blue with the Hradice Philharmonic in the Czech Republic.
February of 2006 included a performance of Rhapsody In Blue with the Moravian Philharmonic (CZ.
Check out the artist's website:
1. As time goes by
3. Fantasy-Impromptu (Chopin)
4. All I Ask Of You
5. The Wind Beneath My Wings
6. Waltz In C-Sharp Minor (Chopin)
7. Send In The Clowns
8. The Rose
9. Pumping Ivory
10. Don't Cry For Me, Argentina
11. Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
12. Somewhere, My Love
13. Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart)
14. Fur Elise (Beethoven)
15. Clair De Lune (Debussy)
16. My Way
17. Root Beer Rag
19. Rhapsody In Blue