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David Cohen

Professorial Staff - Cello & String Chamber Music


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
SE10 9JF


“…David Cohen, one of the most talented young cellists I know. He was a student at my School for some years, and is altogether a remarkable young man, a remarkable performer and already an outstanding cellist.”

- Lord Menuhin (December 1998)
David Cohen


David Cohen has established a reputation as one of the most charismatic and exciting young cellists of today. He has been hailed by critics as “Magnificent” (Gramophone), a musician who “demonstrates total commitment, combining vitality with expressive feeling in the most spontaneous manner” (the Strad), and “an individual, and an exceptionally gifted one,” (New York Stereo Review).

Born in the town of Tournai in Belgium, David made his solo debut with the Belgian National Orchestra at the age of nine. His international career as a soloist soon flourished with invitations from the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, l’Orchestre Symphonique de la VRT, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, l’Orchestre National de Lille, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, l’Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Grenoble, the Polish Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic and the N.H.K. Symphony Orchestra, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra.

In his remarkable career, David has worked as a soloist with some of the most distinguished conductors in the industry such as Lord Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Walter Weller, Sir Charles Mackerras, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph von Dohnányi, Pedro Halffter, and Martyn Brabbins among others. His triumphant solo debut in Japan with the N.H.K. Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations in June 2007, led him to be immediately re-invited for the 2009-2010 season.

As a graduate of the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and thanks to a grant from the Menuhin Foundation, David has won more than 25 prizes in international cello competitions. Among his prizes and awards are the Gold Medal of the GSMD in London, (following in the footsteps of Jacqueline du Pré), the Geneva International Cello Competition, the J. S. Bach International Competition, the Audi International Competition, the Douai International Cello Competition, the Tenuto Competition, the Guilhermina Suggia Gift, the Ian Fleming Trust, the S.P.E.S Award, the KPMG Martin Scholarship, the Hattori Foundation Award, the Borletti Buitoni Fellowship Award and the Foundation SUISA Award. He was nominated ECHO Rising Star for the season 2002-2003 by the Royal Philharmonic Society of Belgium and the Concertgebouw, performing a world tour in the greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Paris’s Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Cologne Philharmonie, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and in the cities of Helsinki, Athens and Birmingham. He has studied with the finest cellists: Wiliam Pleeth, Melissa Phelps, Lynn Harrell, Daniil Shafran, Natalia Gutman, Gary Hoffman, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis, Boris Pergamenschikow, Lord Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Oleg Kogan. David is a passionate chamber musician and regularly performs in major festivals with the finest young talents of Europe.

He is regularly invited to International Chamber Music and Cello Festivals such as Kronberg (Germany), Manchester (UK), Cambridge (UK), Beauvais (France), Orpheus & Bacchus in Bordeaux (France), the Gstaad Menuhin Festival (Switzerland), West Cork (Ireland), Kuhmo (Finland), Elverum (Norway), Oxford (UK), Sonoro (Romania) to name just a few. David is the Artistic Director of the Melchior Ensemble, which brings together the greatest young talents of Europe such as Alexander ‘Sasha’ Sitkovetsky, Priya Mitchell, Corinne Chapelle, Natalie Clein, Silver Ainomäe, and Răzvan Popovici. The ensemble is in residence at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. He is also the Artistic Director and founder of the exciting new chamber music festival, Les Sons Intensifs in Lessines, Belgium and co-Artistic Director and founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, Concertando.

In March 2001, at the age of 20, David was appointed Principal Cello of the Philharmonia Orchestra, becoming the youngest ever Principal Cello in history. In 2013, he joined the “David” piano trio from Rome. You will find award-winning recordings by David with Forlane, Classic FM, Cypres-Records and the LPO Label. He has also released recordings of the Lutosławski Cello Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Sofia Gubaidulina concerto recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cohen is a passionate pedagogue and has been teaching since 1998 in masterclasses around the world such as Cividale del Friuli (Italy), Dinant (Belgium), Kuhmo (Finland), Stift (the Netherlands), Tokyo (Japan) and Bejing (China). He holds a Professor position at the prestigious Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Mons in Belgium since the year 2000 and now joins the Faculty of Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. David plays on the “Ex-Pergamenschikow cello”, a magnificent Dominicus Montagnana circa 1735, thanks to the kindness and generosity of Mrs Pat Morton and the help of the Razumovsky Trust.