David Dolan has devoted an important part of his international career as a concert pianist, researcher and teacher to the revival of the art of classical improvisation. In his solo and chamber music performances, he incorporates extemporisation into the relevant concert repertoire in repeats, eingangs and cadenzas, as well as in preludes, fantasias, and extemporising on themes provided by the audience.
David has performed worldwide in concert venues and festivals, such as the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London, Auditorium Châtelet and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Concertgebouw and Anton Philipzaal in Holland, the Jerusalem Theatre and Tel-Aviv Museum in Israel. He has made live recordings and broadcasts for several European radio and TV stations.
Professor of Classical Improvisation and its various applications to solo and ensemble performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, David has been heading the Centre for Creative Performance & Classical Improvisation since 2005. He also teaches at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Since 2011 David is running a programme of classical improvisation applied to performance at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne based on annual intensive residencies.
He is frequently invited to give master classes and workshops at a number of music institutions, such as the Juilliard School, the Royal College in London, the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow, the Chopin University in Warsaw, the New England Conservatory in Boston, the Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv Music Academies, Verbier Festival, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Auckland and Waikato Universities in New Zealand, Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo and the Paris and Geneva Conservatories. David is an associate fellow in music at Clare Hall, Cambridge University.
Yehudi Menuhin’s response to David Dolan’s CD When Interpretation and Improvisation Get Together was: “David Dolan is giving new life to classical music.”
Born in Israel, David Dolan studied piano with Prof. Sonia Valin and composition and improvisation with Prof. Haim Alexander at the Jerusalem Academy of Music in Jerusalem (B. Mus. and “Artist Diploma – Summa Cum Laude”). He then studied with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and with Claude Frank in New York. In 1977 he took part in Arthur Rubinstein’s class in Jerusalem. His PhD work examined parallels between emotional expression in speech and musical improvisation. Later research has focused on creativity, communication and expression in performance.