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David Conte

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David Conte


David Conte (b. 1955, Denver, Colo.) is an American composer and educator.

Dr. Conte earned his bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Wallace DePue, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University, where he studied with Karel Husa and Steven Stucky.

In 1982, Conte lived and worked with Aaron Copland while preparing a study of the composer’s sketches, having received a Fulbright Fellowship for study with Copland's teacher Nadia Boulanger in Paris, where he was one of her last students. He was also the recipient of a Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellow and an Aspen Music Festival Conducting Fellow. He has served on the faculties of Cornell University, Colgate University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. While at Cornell, he served as both the assistant director and acting director of the Cornell University Glee Club, for whom he composed numerous works. Since 1985 he has been Professor of Composition and Conservatory Chorus conductor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Composer-in-Residence with the theater company Thick Description since 1991. In 2010 he was appointed to the composition faculty of the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, and in 2011 he joined the board of the American Composers Forum. Since 2014 he has been the Composer in Residence with Cappella SF, a San Francisco-based professional chorus.

Dr. Conte is the composer of over one hundred works, including six operas, a musical, works for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, chamber music, organ, piano, guitar, and harp. Conte has received commissions from Chanticleer, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Harvard University Chorus, the Men’s Glee Clubs of Cornell University and the University of Notre Dame, GALA Choruses from the cities of San Francisco, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, D. C., the Dayton Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony, the Stockton Symphony, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the American Guild of Organists (2004, 2009, 2014, 2015), Sonoma City Opera, and the Gerbode Foundation (for the opera “America Tropical”). He was honored with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Brock Commission in 2007.[1]

Some of his more well known works include operas The Gift of the Magi, and The Dreamers (Philip Littell, librettist), which led to a commission for The Journey (a cantata, 2001). Film scores include Orozco: Man of Fire for the PBS American Master's Series (2006), and Ballets Russes shown at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals (2005).

Works for Winds


  • Burch-Pesses, Michael. "A Copland Portrait." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 673-678. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • David Conte, personal correspondence, March 2018
  • David Conte, Wikipedia Accessed 1 September 2016
  • David Conte website Accessed 1 September 2016