DR. DAVID CUTLER balances a varied career as a jazz and classical composer, pianist, educator, arranger, conductor, collaborator, concert producer, author, blogger, consultant, speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur. (In fact, a recent career diagram illustrated that he maintains no less than 24 income streams! Ah, the life of an artist…) In all these pursuits, he works to push boundaries while connecting with new audiences.
One of the world’s leading voices on arts leadership, career, and entrepreneurship training, Cutler’s book The Savvy Musician was heralded by Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet as "Hands down, the most valuable resource available for aspiring musicians." In 2013, he founded The Savvy Musician in ACTION, an experiential entrepreneurship workshop that helps artists increase income and impact. He has offered groundbreaking presentations for organizations such as the Julliard School, Dutch Classical Music Meeting, New World Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University, Batuta (Colombia’s El-sistema inspired program), Italy’s soundSCAPE music festival, and a number of corporations.
A pianist and composer who knows no boundaries, he is a self-proclaimed weekend traveler, equally comfortable with classical, jazz, popular, folk, and world musics. “I love music, and have travelled the globe in search of fascinating sounds. However, rather than recreating them authentically, these ingredients marinate in my mind and are exposed to all the other crazy experiences stored in there. Then I shake them up, like mixing a martini.” What comes out is uniquely his, yet inspired by the source.
In concert, Cutler moves seamlessly from virtuosic masterpieces to improvised statements and gripping originals. As a collaborator with artists like Boston Brass, New Century Saxophone Quartet, horn player Jeff Nelsen, and North Indian kathak dancer Cynthia Ling Lee, he stretches the definition of what it means to be a musical performer: interacting with the audience, incorporating choreography, infusing humor, playing secondary instruments. Known for concert productions that marry outstanding performance with the unexpected (whether greeting patrons with costumed performers or ushering them out with a marching band), many shows interface diverse musical expressions with dance, film, actors, stage design, and visual artists.
A multi-dimensional composer, his eclectic output has been commissioned and performed by artists such as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Classical Orchestra of Milan, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Korean Chamber Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Boston Brass, Airmen of Note Air Force Big Band, singer Nancy Wilson, trumpeter Sean Jones, clarinetist David Krakauer, the piano duo Anderson & Roe, and saxophonist Benny Golson. He served residencies at the Asian Pacific Performance Exchange (Los Angeles, CA), working closely with musicians, dancers, theatre artists, and puppeteers; Visby International Centre for Composition (Gotland, Sweden); and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota Colombia).
Dr. Cutler studied at the University of Miami (BM), Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, Eastman School of Music (MM), and Indiana University (DM). Following 11 years of teaching at Duquesne University, he joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina as the Director of Music Entrepreneurship, the first position of its kind.