What started out as a lark twenty-two years ago, David Weiss is now considered to be one of the world's foremost musical saw virtuosos. He has appeared on the Tonight show, Prairie Home Companion, at Disneyland, on television commercials, and movies (most recently in the Grammy Award winning "O Brother Where Art Thou?"). July 1985 marked his Hollywood Bowl debut on the musical saw in a work specially commissioned for him by the Philharmonic. Other performances took place at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, aboard the QE2 and other cruises, and as an added feature in most of his oboe recitals. His album "Virtuoso Saw" received international critical acclaim.
Principal Oboist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1973-2003), Mr. Weiss began his musical training with piano lessons from his mother, Marcia Weiss, switching to oboe at age ten. A scholarship student at the University of Southern California, his studies were shortened by his acceptance of Principal Oboe with the Metropolitan Opera National Company on a 43-week tour of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Having lost his student deferment, and with the Vietnam war expanding, at the close of the opera tour Mr. Weiss enlisted in the Army as First Oboe of the West Point Military Academy Band (1966-1969). He then joined the Pittsburgh Symphony as Associate Principal Oboe, and two years later became Principal Oboe of the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. In 1973 he returned "home" to Los Angeles.
Mr. Weiss has recorded numerous symphonic works with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Antal Dorati, Carlo Maria Giulini, Erich Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. A solo recording on Crystal Records entitled THE WEISS FAMILY WOODWINDS features David along with his brother Abe (Principal Bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic) and his sister Dawn (Principal Flute of the Oregon Symphony).
As a soloist Mr. Weiss has appeared several times in Carnegie Recital Hall, at New York's Caramoor Festival, at Avery Fisher Hall, and at the Kennedy Center. His first concerto performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was in 1962 when he was fifteen years old, and since then has been featured dozens of times. With his wife, pianist Alpha Hockett Walker (together known as "DnA"), they have performed in Israel, London, Paris, Japan, Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii, and throughout the continental United States. They often feature unpublished or unusual works for oboe and English horn.
Mr. Weiss teaches at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, at the Music Academy of the West's summer festival, and at the Henry Mancini Institute. He previously served on the music faculties of Vassar College, Duquesne University, Catholic University, and the Sarasota Music Festival. He is in demand as a clinician and judge for major oboe events throughout the country. For the past thirteen years he has served as Chairman of the Music Advisory Board of the Young Musicians Foundation of Los Angeles.
In addition to musical endeavors, Mr. Weiss is an accomplished photographer whose work has been displayed at the Edward Weston Gallery in Carmel, Hollywood Bowl Museum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, in major newspapers, magazines, and in biographies of famous musicians. As the Philharmonic's Official Photographer for close to thirty years, his work appeared regularly in the Music Center's Performing Arts Magazine. He has several album covers to his credit, including PHILHARMONIC SOLO on London Records. The recently published "The Hollywood Bowl - Tales of Summer Nights," and Henry Roth's "Violin Virtuosos," contain dozens of his photos.
For more information about Mr. Weiss, please visit his website: www.davidweissgallery.com