David Darling (musician)

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This article is about the American musician. For other persons with the same name, see David Darling.

David Darling (born March 3, 1941) is an American cellist and composer. He won the Grammy award for Best New Age Album in 2010. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Bobby McFerrin and Spyro Gyra in addition to putting out several solo and small ensemble albums as well as albums of his compositions.


Born in Elkhart, Indiana, Darling began studying cello at age 10 and continued on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Indiana State University. He took a position as elementary and secondary school instrumental ensemble director in Evansville, Indiana in 1966, and in 1969 joined the faculty of Western Kentucky University teaching music education and directing the community college orchestra. He joined the Paul Winter Consort in 1970, as well as taking a position with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and remained a member until 1987, when he left to pursue a solo career.

In 1986, Darling joined Young Audiences, Inc., an organization that seeks to educate children about music and the arts through in-school programs. In the same year, he founded Music for People, which seeks to encourage self-expression through musical improvisation.

In 2000, he recorded an unusual collaboration with the Wulu Bunun, a group of Taiwanese aborigines.[1]

Darling's performance and composition draw on a wide range of styles, including classical, jazz, Brazilian, African, and Indian music. He currently lives in Goshen, Connecticut where he continues his active composing, teaching, and performing career.

In addition to his work as a solo and collaborative musician, he has written and performed music for more than a dozen major motion pictures, including Wim Wenders's 1991 film Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World), Michael Mann's 1995 film Heat and the 1988 killer-doll horror film Child's Play. The popular Until the End of the World soundtrack features Darling's performance of Graeme Revell compositions alongside major acts like U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Talking Heads, R.E.M., Lou Reed, and Elvis Costello. He was one of several composers contributing music to Jean-Luc Godard's Nouvelle Vague (1990), Éloge de l'amour (2001) and Notre musique (2004).

In 2002 David was nominated for a Grammy award for his album Cello Blue.

Darling is a teacher of music improvisation and is a believer in the ability of every human to learn to express themselves musically. He co-founded Music for People, an organization which runs "music for everyone" workshops that are inspiring everyone from musical novices to professionals. All musical styles are honored, from Bach to boogie woogie. In 2007 he recorded The Darling Conversations, a 3-CD set with Julie Weber discussing his music philosophy. It was issued on the Manifest Spirit Records label. His teaching methods are the subject of a book, Return to Child (2008).[2]

In May 2008, he became part of a collaboration of music teachers, healers, and performers offering a training program in holistic and intercultural approaches to healing with sound and music at the New York Open Center Sound and Music School.[3]

In January 2009, David released Prayer for Compassion, a follow-on to his earlier 8-String Religion.


With Ketil Bjørnstad
With Terje Rypdal
With Glen Moore
With Ralph Towner


  1. ^ http://www.worldmusic.net/home/features/darling.html
  2. ^ http://returntochild.com
  3. ^ http://www.opencenter.org
  4. ^ "Cello Blue". Valley Entertainment-Hearts of Space Records. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Tao of Cello". Valley Entertainment. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & The World". Valley Entertainment. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 

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