David Chesky

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David Chesky
Born Miami, Florida
Residence New York City
Nationality American
Occupation Composer/musician

David Chesky is an American composer best known for a contemporary style that combines elements of jazz and Latin music with more traditional classical components.[1] He has received multiple Grammy nominations, won the Lancaster Symphony Composer’s Award in 2013, and was the composer in residence for the National Symphony orchestra of Taiwan.[2][3] He is also recognized for his audio technology innovations, having been the first person to create 128x oversampled CDs and 96/24 DVD audio.[4] He currently lives in New York City, and is the co-founder, producer, and artistic director of Chesky Records.[4][5] He is also the co-founder and CEO of HDtracks.com, an online download service that offers high-fidelity recordings.[4]


David Chesky was born in 1956 in the city of Miami in Florida, USA. In 1974, he moved to the New York City to pursue his career as a composer and a musician, studying with Pulitzer Prize winner David Del Tredici and pianist John Lewis, a member of the Modern Jazz Quintet.[5][6] In 1986, David co-founded Chesky Records with his brother, Norman Chesky, and by 2008, he had co-founded and assumed the role of CEO for HDtracks.com, a website that offers high quality music for download.[4][7][8]


In 1978, David organized a big jazz band in which he served as the composer, the ranger and the pianist.[2] The group included notable musicians such as Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker and Bob James. It also saw successful performance at various venues, including Storyville, The Village Vanguard, and the Monterey Jazz Festival.[2] The same year, they released their album entitled “Rush Hour” through Columbia Records.[6] In 1986, he,together with his brother Norman Chesky, he founded Chesky Records, an audiophile record label that has released recordings from such notable artists as Astor Piazzolla and Chuck Mangione for which he serves as producer and artistic director.[4] Of his most notable records is “The Body Acoustic”, which was released in 2004 by Chesky Records and featured himself and among others notable jazz such as artists Randy Brecker, Andy Gonzalez, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Bob Mintzer.[9] Chesky currently composes and plays piano for Jazz in the New Harmonic, a jazz quintet he formed with the intention of fusing 12-tone classical harmonies with the rhythms and grooves of modern jazz.[6]


From early to mid 1980s, Chesky concentrated mainly on classical composition.[1] His classical works have been described as having an “urban orchestral” feel, combining traditional classical style with folk and city-based sounds and styles.[1] He has composed many works, ranging from standard form classical pieces to more contemporary pieces that include non-traditional orchestral instruments like the electric guitar.[1] For instance, his albums, Urbanicity and String Theory released in 2011, featured concertos for cello, violin, and electric guitar.[1] Chesky's classical compositions have been performed by such notable groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Empire Brass Quintet, Osaka Symphoniker, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.[7]


In October 2009 Chesky debuted “The Pig, the Farmer, and the Artist,” a comic opera, to theatres in New York City.[10] Other operas include “Romeo and Juliet,” a satire based on a continuation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.[10]

Material for children[edit]

In 1997 he created Chesky Records Kids, an offshoot label of Chesky Records, with the purpose of promoting music education and exposing children to classical music.[11] The first piece he wrote for this label was Classical Cats: A Children's Introduction to the Orchestra, followed by Snowbears of Lake Louise in 1998.[7] More recently in 2006 he completed The Zephyrtine, a ballet for children, and in 2009 he debuted The Mice War, an opera for children.[12]


Chesky is recognized as the first person to create 128x oversampled CDs and 96/24 DVD audio.[2][4] More generally, the recordings on Chesky Records are widely acclaimed for extreme attention to detail, with simple recording techniques and relatively few microphones.[10] His recording process focuses on pairing simple techniques with the most sophisticated recording equipment available, like microphones that use binaural heads.[10]

List of works[edit]

Urban concertos[edit]

  • “Concerto for Violin and Cello”
  • “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto No.2 for Violin and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto No.3 for Violin and Orchestra, The Klezmer"
  • "Concerto for Viola and Orchestra"
  • "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Orchestra"
  • "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra”
  • "The Manhattan Suite for Trumpet and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Flute and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto No.2 for Flute and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra”
  • "Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra"
  • "American Bluegrass”

Symphonic and ballet music[edit]

  • "Urbanicity"
  • "New York Variations"

Central Park Dances

  • “Dance No. 1 for Orchestra”
  • “Dance No. 2 for Orchestra”
  • “Dance No. 3 for Orchestra”
  • "The Zephyrtine Children's Ballet"
  • "[ String Theory]
  • "Hope”

Chamber music[edit]

  • "American Bluegrass”
  • "String Quartet No. 1”
  • "Street Beats”
  • "Duo for Bassoon and Bass Trombone”

Vocal music[edit]

  • “The Spanish Poems”
  • "The Girl from Guatemala”
  • "The Romance of Love”
  • "Sonnet No 5"
  • "The Wiener Psalm”


  • "The Pig, The Farmer, and The Artist”
  • "Juliet & Romeo”

Opera for children[edit]

  • "The Mice War”

Choral music[edit]

  • "Power and Innocence”
  • "The Agnostic"


The New York Rags

  • “Rag No. 1 "The New Yorker”
  • “Rag No. 2 "The Bernstein”
  • “Rag No. 3 "The Duke"
  • “Rag No. 4 "Times Square"
  • “Rag No. 5 "Fourth Street"
  • “Rag No. 6 "Third Avenue"
  • “Rag No. 7 "Broadway Boogie Woogie"
  • “Rag No. 8 "Fifth Avenue"
  • “Rag No. 9 "Grand Central Morning "
  • “Rag No. 10 " Seventh Avenue"
  • “Rag No. 11 "The Circle at Fifth "
  • “Rag No. 12 "The Park Avenue Rag"
  • “Rag No. 13 "The Thanksgiving Day Parade Rag in 7/4"
  • “Rag No. 14 "Kids Your Late For School Rag"
  • “Rag No. 15 "The Manhattan Blues Variations Rag"
  • “Rag No. 16 "Penn Station"
  • “Rag No. 17 "The J Walker Rag"
  • “Rag No. 18 "The Coney Island Rag"

The Brazilian Dances

  • “Dance No.6”
  • “Dance No. 7”
  • “Dance No. 8”
  • “Etude No.1”

The New York Chorinhos

  • A collection of 16 Chorinhos for solo piano

The Tango and Dances

  • “Dance No.1 for solo piano”
  • “Dance No.2 for solo piano”
  • “Dance No.3 for solo piano”
  • “Dance No.4 for solo piano”
  • “Dance No.5 for solo piano”
  • “Chorinho No. 7 for solo piano”
  • “Chorinho No. 18 for solo piano”
  • “Chorinho No. 19 for solo piano”
  • “Tango No.1 for solo piano”
  • “Tango No. 2 for solo piano”

The Fantasies

  • “Fantasy No.1 for solo piano”
  • “Fantasy No.2 for solo piano”
  • “Fantasy No.3 for solo piano”
  • “Fantasy No.4 for solo piano”
  • “Fantasy No.5 for solo piano”
  • “Choro No. 20 for solo piano"
  • “Choro No. 21 for solo piano”

Neo-romantic orchestral works[edit]

  • "Psalm 1 For String Orchestra"
  • "Psalm 2 For String Orchestra & Cello Soloist"
  • "Psalm 3 For String Orchestra"
  • "Psalm 4 - Sorrow"
  • "Psalm 5 - Aftermath”
  • "Psalm 6 - Rage & Despair”

Brass music[edit]

  • “Central Park Morning”


  • Rap Symphony (Chesky, 2014)
  • Jazz in the New Harmonic (Chesky, 2013)
  • The Zephyrtine: A Ballet Story (Chesky, 2013)
  • The New York Rags (Chesky, 2012)
  • String Theory (Chesky, 2011)
  • Urbanicity (Chesky, 2010)
  • Urban Concertos (Chesky, 2007)
  • Area 31 (Chesky, 2005)
  • The Body Acoustic (Chesky, 2004)
  • The Agnostic (Chesky, 2000)
  • Psalms 4, 5, And 6: Remembrance For The Victims Of The Modern Holocausts (Chesky, 2000)
  • Three Pslams for String Orchestra (Chesky, 1997)
  • The Fantasies (Chesky, 1995)
  • The Tangos and Dances (Chesky, 1992)
  • The New York Chorinhos (Chesky, 1990)
  • Club del Sol (Chesky, 1989)
  • Rush Hour (Chesky, 1980)


  • 2013 Lancaster Symphony Composer's Award
  • 2008 Grammy nomination of Best Classical Contemporary Composition for “Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra”
  • 2005 Latin Grammy nomination of Best Latin Jazz Album for “The Body Acoustic”
  • 2005 Grammy nominations of Best Engineered Classical Recording:
    • “Concertos For Violin And Orchestra"
    • “Concertos For Flute And Orchestra"
    • “The Girl From Guatemala"[1][13]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f JOHN JASCOLL (January 10, 2013). "The rhythms of the city fill David Chesky's music with life". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "David Chesky's Area 31 receives Grammy Nomination for Best Engineered Album, Classical". All About Jazz. December 15, 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Michael Gandolfi 53rd Recipient of our Composer's Award". Lancaster Symphony. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "David Chesky: Co-Founder/CEO – HDtracks". New Music Seminar. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "David Chesky Biography". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "David Chesky Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Biography". All Music. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Wes Phillips (March 23, 2008). "Chesky Launches High-Resolution Download Store". Stereophile. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Felix Contreras (September 2004). "David Chesky The Body Acoustic". Jazz Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d "A Conversation With David Chesky Page 2". Inner Fidelity. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Chesky Records". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Pamaluc Music (April 13, 2009). "Chesky's The Mice War Children's Opera Sells Out in Asia". Musical America. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "David Chesky's Area 31 receives Grammy Nomination for Best Engineered Album, Classical". All About Jazz. December 15, 2005. Retrieved 27 June 2013.