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meet david

Quick Facts about David:
  • Nebraska native
  • Studying at Yale School of Music
  • Organist, vocalist, pianist, and violinist
  • Passionate about performing and teaching classical music
  • Avid runner

        David von Behren is the newly-appointed Assistant University Organist and Choirmaster of the Memorial Church at Harvard University.  He received his Master of Music degree and Church Music Studies certificate at Yale University (School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music) studying organ with Martin Jean, improvisation with Jeff Brillhart, and choral conducting with Marguerite Brooks.  David served as senior organ scholar at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut under the direction of Walden Moore, working with the Trinity Choir of Men & Boys and Choir of Men & Girls.  During his time at Yale, David was awarded the 2019 Richard Paul DeLong prize for the student “whose work best exemplifies the dedication and the use of those special gifts required of practicing church musicians” in addition to the 2018 Mary Baker Prize in Organ Accompanying.

        Under the tutelage of Todd Wilson, David is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio, holding his Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance and music theory (double degree).  Prior to his appointment at Trinity on the Green, David served four years as organ scholar at Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  David is the first organist to receive the Cleveland Institute of Music’s prestigious Darius Milhaud Award, given each year to a student “who displays qualities of unusual talent and creativity, sensitivity, expressiveness, strong love for and dedication to the musical arts, outstanding musical accomplishment, and evidence of academic excellence.”  Having performed with the CIM Orchestra at Kulas Hall and Severance Hall, David was named one of The Diapason’s “20 Under 30” Class of 2016.  The winner of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award on National Public Radio's (NPR) From the Top, David’s live radio performance has reached over half a million listeners.  David continues to concertize extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

        A native of Falls City, Nebraska David actively advocates for introducing and exciting younger audiences about classical music.  In 2013, he began “The Little Stars Summer Program,” a music program for 3-11 year-old children in Falls City, in association with NPR’s From the Top and The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.  As a violinist, David has performed in orchestra festivals at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center. He frequently serves on teaching faculties for POEs (Pipe Organ Encounters) and various organ camps/festivals. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and running half marathons costumed as various superheroes.  Learn more at: www.davidvonbehren.com