Behrman graduated from Columbia College in 1959 and received an M.A. from Harvard University in 1964.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Behrman participated in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma, Behrman was a co-founder of Sonic Arts Union in 1966. He was a part of Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether interview series. Behrman was also a major collaborator with the composer and producer Ben Neill.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Behrman participated in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, creating music for repertory dances.
He has been a member of the Avery Graduate Arts Program faculty at Bard College since 1998. He was co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in 1975–1980, and has taught also at CalArts, Rutgers, and the Technical University in Berlin.
Behrman received a 1994 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
Behrman is known as a minimalist composer. His music has often involved interactions between live performers and computers, usually with the computer generating sounds triggered by some aspect of the live performance, usually certain pitches, but sometimes other aspects of the live sound, such as volume in QRSL (as recorded by Maggi Payne on The Extended Flute (CRI807). Many of his significant works, such as On the Other Ocean, Interspecies Small Talk, and others have been released on Lovely Music.
- On the Other Ocean Lovely Music Ltd. 1977.
- Leapday Night Lovely Music Ltd. 1987
- Unforeseen Events XI Records, 1991
- Wave Train Alga Marghen, 1998
- My Dear Siegfried XI Records,2005
- 1976 - Music With Roots in the Aether: Opera for Television. Tape 1: David Behrman. Produced and directed by Robert Ashley. New York, New York: Lovely Music.
- 2008 - Roulette TV: David Behrman. Roulette Intermedium Inc.
- David Behrman Website
- David Behrman interview from Kalvos & Damian New Music Bazaar
- Lovely Music Artist: David Behrman
- David Behrman Interview by Theresa Stern (August 1997)
- David Behrman at UbuWeb
- David Behrman page at WFMU
- David Behrman at the Foundation for Contemporary Arts
- David Behrman at Diapason Gallery
- David Behrman at Bard College
- David Behrman at Arcane Candy
- 1994, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
- David Behrman: Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Biography.
- David Behrman interview with Jason Gross. August, 1997. Perfect Sound Forever.
- Kenneth Goldsmith. "David Behrman: Composer as Record Executive" from "Don't Quit Your Day Job". 2000. New Music Box / American Music Center.
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