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David Hertzberg

David Hertzberg

The Rose Elf: Composer & Librettist

Described as “utterly original” by The New York Times and named a 2023 Musician to Watch by the Washington Post, David Hertzberg is a composer from Los Angeles.

In the spring of 2020, the debut recording of his opera The Wake World, which premiered at Opera Philadelphia in 2017 and won the Music Critics Association of North America’s Best New Opera Award, was released on Tzadik. Lauded as “a rapturous nirvana” by the Financial Times and “astonishingly imaginative” by the BBC, the recording was included among The New York Times Best Classical Albums of 2020. This was followed shortly by the release of his chamber opera The Rose Elf, which premiered in the catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery in 2018 and was dubbed WQXR’s Opera Event of the Year. Opera News listed the album as one of the Year’s Best Recordings, calling it “a kaleidoscopic, narcotic vision” that The New Yorker wrote “blooms with warmth and depth”. That same year David was awarded the Andrew Imbrie Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and named a Guggenheim Fellow.

David is currently working on his next opera, Grand Hotel, a site-specific operatic fugue in four acts for the Los Angeles-based company The Industry, as well as a one-act symphonic monodrama entitled HQ, to premiere in 2024.

Highlights of recent seasons have included the premiere of his Chamber Symphony with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the cantata Sunday Morning with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, the orchestral works for none shall gaze upon the Father and live and Spectre of the Spheres with the Pittsburgh and Kansas City Symphonies, four premieres of chamber works on the Concert Artists Guild series at Carnegie Hall, his orchestral cantata Nympharum and large ensemble work femminina, oscura at Alice Tully Hall, as well as performances at Tanglewood and the Kennedy Center.

David has held residencies at Opera Philadelphia, Dumbarton Oaks, Young Concert Artists, Copland House, Yaddo, and MacDowell, and received distinctions from Juilliard, Harvard, Tanglewood, BMI, ASCAP, and the International Opera Awards, which shortlisted him for Newcomer of the Year in 2018. He studied at Juilliard and Curtis.