David Pereira (born 21 September 1953) is an Australian classical cellist, considered one of the finest working today. He was Senior Lecturer in Cello at the Canberra School of Music from 1990 to 2008.
Pereira was born in Macksville, New South Wales in 1953, moved to Young at the age of five and then to Leura. He studied with John Painter at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music 1972-75 and graduated as "Student of the Year". He also studied with Fritz Magg at Indiana University and completed a Masters Degree in Cello Performance (1976-79).
He played with the Australia Ensemble for 11 years, and was Principal Cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (seven years) and of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (three years). He has also played with Flederman, the Seymour Group, the String Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, Felix Ayo, the Chilingirian Quartet, Roger Woodward, Geoffrey Tozer, Ian Munro, and the Sydney String Quartet.
Pereira has performed all the cello concertos and major concertante pieces from the standard repertoire (Dvořák, Elgar, Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Johann Christian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Brahms's Double Concerto, Bruch's Kol Nidrei) as well as premiering concertos written for him by Australian composers such as Richard Mills, Barry Conyngham, David Lumsdaine, Larry Sitsky, Mary Finsterer and Bruce Cale.
He has appeared with the major orchestras in Australia and New Zealand. He has appeared in Europe, Russia and the United States with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble, at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center and the United Nations (with Stuart Challender and Dame Joan Sutherland). There have also been appearances in China, India, the Philippines and Japan.
He has recorded the complete works for cello by Peter Sculthorpe and Einojuhani Rautavaara (with Ian Munro) and the complete solo cello suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, among a number of other recordings.
He has won many awards including twice winning the Sounds Australian Award for the Best Performance of an Australian Composition (Carl Vine's Inner World; David Lumsdaine's Garden of Earthly Delights). Apart from the new concertos mentioned above, David Pereira has premiered many other new Australian works, by composers such as Carl Vine, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Mike Nock, Roger Dean, Tristram Cary, Roger Frampton, Anne Boyd and Nigel Butterley.
He has written three books on cello technique. The third - "The Larrikin Cellist" (2008) - offers valuable advice to the serious cello student, for example, to play as one wants to, not as one thinks one ought to.
In 2005 and 2006, David Pereira fell seriously ill. He sought hospitalization (winter of both years) and was diagnosed with Obsessive–compulsive disorder and depression. Expert psychiatric and psychological interventions eventually proved helpful, but anti-depressants caused tremor that made cello playing impossible. By mid-2007 he had recovered completely and discontinued his drug regimen. He then quickly returned to full professional functioning. He is a Patron of the Mental Health Foundation (ACT).
Pereira runs his own cello-focused subscription recital series at the Wesley Music Centre in Canberra and teaches cello there, at the ANU School of Music, and at the Young Regional School of Music. In 2008 he made a series of recordings of his performances playing a cello which forms part of the A. E. Smith quartet of musical instruments held by the National Museum of Australia. The following year he played in solo and chamber capacities in the Arts in the Valley and the Canberra International Music Festival.