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David Kaplan


"...striking imagination and creativity." -- The New York Times
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David Kaplan

David Kaplan


David Kaplan, pianist, has been called “excellent and adventurous” by The New York Times, and praised by the Boston Globe for “grace and fire” at the keyboard. As orchestra soloist, he has appeared with the Britten Sinfonia at London’s Barbican and Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin at the Philharmonie, and next year makes debuts with the  Symphony Orchestras of Hawaii and San Antonio. As recitalist, he has performed at the Ravinia Festival, Sarasota Opera House, Music on Main in Vancouver, Strathmore, Washington’s National Gallery, and New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls. 

Kaplan has consistently drawn critical acclaim for creative programs that interweave classical and contemporary repertoire, often incorporating newly commissioned works. As a guest artist of Piano Spheres at Los Angeles’ Zipper Hall, he recently premiered “Quasi una Fantasia,” a program exploring the grey area between composition and improvisation through works by Anthony Cheung, Christopher Cerrone, and Andrea Casarrubios, together with Couperin, Beethoven, Schumann, Saariaho, Ligeti, and his own improvisations. Kaplan’s “New Dances of the League of David,” a recital infusing Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze with 16 new works by composers including Augusta Read Thomas, Marcos Balter, Caroline Shaw, and Andrew Norman was cited among the “Best Classical Music Performances of 2015” by The New York Times. 


Balancing solo performances with meaningful collaborations, Kaplan has played with the Attacca, Ariel, Enso, Hausman, and Tesla String Quartets. As a core member of Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, he performs frequently in New York’s most exciting venues, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to National Sawdust, as well as creating innovative residencies as far away as Abu Dhabi, Mexico, and Scotland. He is a veteran of numerous distinguished chamber music festivals and series, such as the Seattle Chamber Music, Bard, and Mostly Mozart Festivals, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Barge Music. He is an alumnus of Tanglewood and the Ravinia-Steans Institute, and performs regularly as an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, including with Itzhak Perlman at Miami’s Arsht Center. He serves as Co-Artistic Director of Lyrica Chamber Music, a community series in Morris County, NJ currently in its 36th season. 

Kaplan has recorded for Naxos and Marquis Records, as well as for Nonesuch as part of his longstanding duo with pianist/composer Timo Andres. Later this year, Bright Shiny Things will release Vent, Kaplan’s debut album with his wife, flutist Catherine Gregory, to include music by Gabriela Lena Frank, David Lang, Mr. Andres, Schubert, and Prokofiev.


Kaplan was a student of the late Claude Frank, and previously studied with Walter Ponce and Miyoko Lotto. His mentors over the years have included Anton Kuerti, Richard Goode, and Emanuel Ax. He studied conducting at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Lutz Köhler, under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship from 2008-2010. The recipient of a DMA from Yale University in 2014, Kaplan earned his Bachelor from UCLA, where he has also served on the faculty since 2016, and now is the Assistant Professor and Inaugural Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance. 

David is proud to be a Yamaha/Bösendorfer Artist, and when at home in Los Angeles, he enjoys practicing on his childhood piano, a 1908 Hamburg Steinway model A. Away from the keyboard, he loves cartooning and cooking, and is mildly obsessed with classic cars. 

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