The Utah Symphony Blog

David Porter, Violin – Musician Highlight

What concerto did you audition with?
I played the Brahms Concerto.  At the time, it was still considered a contemporary work. Really, Sibelius or Tchaikovsky is a better choice, but apparently ignorance is bliss and it worked out for me nonetheless.

What is your favorite restaurant in SLC?
I would have to say Squatters.  I’m on a first name basis with virtually everyone who works there.  (Mostly because they only have their first names on their name tags.)  Their food is good and they’re kitchen is open late, which works out well for after concerts soirees.  My daughter loves their macaroni and cheese.  Apparently they have good beer too, though I have never tried it.

How many years have you been playing your instrument?
I started when I was five, so twenty years.

What other instruments do you play?
I play a mean viola.  Some of my violist colleagues have accused my vibrato of sounding nanny goaty on said instrument, but they’re really just jealous.  I also play piano really, really badly; a fact to which my students can attest.

Does your instrument have a name? If so, what is it?
I have not named my violin, though I really should.  Honestly, I think of it almost as an extension of myself when I play, rather than some separate entity.  Except for when I play out of tune.  Then it’s the violin’s fault.

What is your favorite quote?
“No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.” – Jascha Heifetz

What orchestral piece do you find most enjoyable to play?
Honestly, I enjoy playing the vast majority of the repertoire.  Overture to Candide not so much, but most of the other stuff is pretty great.  I even like playing Bruckner, despite all of the tremolo.

What advice would you give to young musicians?
Spend lots of time on The Facebooks.  More seriously, always keep in mind your audience and how to make the music speak to them.  Never pander, but realize that it is your responsibility to sell your art form, to make it seem relevant.  Being a musician is more than just playing your instrument well.  Study other forms of music and art and stay curious.
Having said all that, play in tune.

What is one unusual item on your bucket list?
I want to go to Indonesia and see tree kangaroos.

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