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David Pia aspires to take his listeners to a place “where time stands still or at least the feeling of time is transformed – to an inner world where all feel a sense of closeness to themselves, and where I most like to be myself.” Critics describe his playing as inspired, profoundly concentrated, exceptionally sensitive and graceful, and informed by well-shaped, singing phrasing, while displaying an exciting spontaneity.
Born into a musically and culturally active family in Switzerland in 1982, Pia grew up in Basel, starting to play the cello at the age of five. When he was 11, he met Antonio Meneses, first becoming his private pupil, then studying officially with him at the Musikakademie Basel. Meneses not only encouraged Pia in the quest for perfect mastery of the instrument, but above all instilled in him the principle that musical expression, i.e. thought-out, coherent, stylistically accurate performance, is always the main focus, even in so-called virtuoso music. Pia then went on to study with Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum Salzburg, an experience that broadened his perspective even further.
Apart from the solo performances that make up the core of his musical activities, David Pia has a particular love of chamber music. Encounters with Claudio Abbado, Bobby McFerrin and Kit Armstrong have had a profound impact on him, as has that with his former chamber-music mentor, Gérard Wyss. In addition, David Pia was principal cellist in the Munich Radio Orchestra from 2006-2008. In 2007, he was a prizewinner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, in 2010 he gave his début recital at the Lucerne Festival, and in 2015 he received the Swiss Ambassador’s Award and recorded his first CD.
In David Pia, tradition and vision come together; he bridges the gap from the veneration for his grandfather, Karl Richter, the legendary Munich Bach conductor and organist, into a future whose vista is endless. For him, it is vital to extend the familiar repertoire by the addition of interesting pieces and never to lose sight of the adventure posed by the unknown.
In his free time, David Pia plays tennis and is an enthusiastic fan of his coeval from Basel, Roger Federer.
David Pia's motto as a person and a musician is inspired by Bobby McFerrin, with whom he has played as a duo: “Of course, it is essential to have a flawless technique. However, the highest priority is not perfection, but always joy in life and music.”