"...a heady and touching revelation."

—San Francisco Chronicle

Well-known and often performed, composer David Garner’s body of work reflects his historical knowledge, theatrical flair and humor. David has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 1979, acting as chairman of the Department of Musicianship and Music Theory for 16 years. Trained as a pianist and cellist, David has performed from the solo classical concert stage

to jazz-rock fusion bands. A composition autodidact, Garner’s recent accomplishments include winning the 2015 American Prize in Composition, a Silver Medal for the 2016 Global Music Awards, finalist for the 2014 American Prize, and winning the 2014 Hal Leonard Labor of Love online publishing prize.

David's vocal chamber music and art-song is featured on Pentatone Classics: the 2009 solo album, Phenomenon, and other vocal chamber masterworks on And if the Song be Worth a Smile, The Hours Begin to Sing, December Celebration, and the just-released Out of the Shadows. In April 2016 Centaur Records released the critically acclaimed Surviving: Women’s Words, a CD comprising four of Garner’s song-cycles setting poetry by women survivors or contemporaries of the Holocaust. (There is an excellent review of Surviving: Women's Words in The Whole Note, September 2017.)

Garner has just completed his two-act opera, Mary Pleasant at Land’s End. Set in 19th-century San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, with libretto by long-time friend and collaborator tenor Mark Hernandez, the work is an intense drama of historical fiction. The San Francisco Conservatory has produced a full workshop of the entire opera January 14th, 2017.


David Garner is a member of BMI, and is a co-founder of Ensemble For These Times.

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