A! Magazine for the Arts

David Kováč

David Kováč

David Kováč promotes string music to youth

July 31, 2018

David Kováč became the associate professor of violin/viola at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, two years ago. He began to play violin when he was 4 and went to high school at the Janacek Conservatory in the Czech Republic. He then came to the U.S. to study music. He received his undergraduate degree from Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. He received his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, Kansas City, Missouri.

Before he came to ETSU, he lived in Kansas City and was the artistic co-director at Heartland Chamber Music. “We provided opportunities for young musicians to play chamber music and string chamber orchestra in several year around programs and during the Summer Chamber Music Festival,” he says.

Since coming to ETSU, he has started two chamber orchestras: East Tennessee State University Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra. College and advanced high school students can audition for the ETSU chamber orchestra. Younger students can audition for the Sinfonia. Students can also take chamber music classes at ETSU.

“I hope to grow the string and chamber music program at ETSU together with my colleague Sean Hawthorne and establish a strong string tradition,” he says.

Kováč is the conductor of the Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra. “I would like to see The Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra grow and bring in students from across the Tri-Cities and the region. I am hoping to expand the collaboration with local youth ensembles, colleges and universities,” he says.

The Youth Orchestra performs in the “From Brass to Brahms” concert Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Toy F. Reid Employee Center, Kingsport, Tenn. They join the Voices of the Mountains Oct. 28 for a concert at 3 p.m., in Kingsport. Their Fall Concert is held Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. in Seeger Chapel at Milligan College, Johnson City, Tennessee. They join in the Classical Masters concert at Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, Tennessee, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Their Spring Concert is April 7 at 3 p.m., in Kingsport and April 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts, Emory, Va.

He is also a guest artist with the Paramount Chamber Players. Craig Combs, founder, says, “David Kováč is a consummate musician both as a performer and teacher as evidenced by both his personal performances and the extraordinary quality of his student ensembles. When he came to East Tennessee with his family, he brought with him a worldview in the field of classical music. His presence in our communities has encouraged our persistent pursuit of excellence in the presentation of chamber music in our communities. The Paramount Chamber Players has enjoyed his work twice as a violist in the Piano Quartet op. 25 of Brahms and the Piano Quartet op. 16 of Beethoven. We very much look forward to his continued collaboration with TPCP in the next season in the Schumann Piano Quintet set to be performed in May.”

“I enjoy both teaching and performing. I believe that good balance of performing and teaching is important. As a teacher, I enjoy watching students grow into young musicians,” Kováč says.

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