David Hollender

Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Plays bass and five-string banjo
  • Performances at Carnegie Hall, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Ottawa Jazz Festival
  • Member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1990; participated in programs involving Bobby McFerrin, William Warfield, and Yo Yo Ma
  • Appearances with Ernestine Anderson, Darryl Anger, Alan Bibey, Haneke Cassel, Jim Cohen, Chris Connor, Larry Coryell, Stewart Duncan, J. Geils, David Grisman, Charlie Haden, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Diana Krall, Emory Lester, Portland Symphony, The Shangri-La’s, Tierney Sutton, the Wayfaring Strangers, Claude Williams, and Joe Williams
  • Performances with theater and show orchestras: Charles Playhouse, Foxwoods Resort Orchestra, Huntington Theater, and Majestic Theater
  • Private lessons with Edwin Barker (principal, Boston Symphony Orchestra), Béla Fleck, Todd Seeber (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Tony Trischka, and Miroslav Vitous
In Their Own Words

"I've always appreciated the fact that Berklee accepts students with high potential and the right attitude, not just who's the hottest player. Five-string banjo was my first instrument, but when I decided to apply to Berklee as a student they didn't teach it, so I had to play another instrument. I had recently started playing bass, and it felt like going back to square one as a player, but I was motivated and determined. My teachers recognized that and helped me to make fast progress. Now, as a teacher I enjoy working with students who share those qualities."

"Players in different realms tend to have different strengths, and I've tried to learn things that each style has to offer and impart those lessons to my students. I try to help them to learn how to practice and develop good technique, big ears, high standards, and open minds. With that they can learn to play any music they choose. At the end of the day, the goal is that they will eventually become their own teachers."

"I've never lost my passion for the banjo, and in a way it's still my first love. At this point I think the range of experience I've had as a musician may be what makes my banjo playing and teaching unique."

"The thing I'm most proud of is that I was able to help open the doors at Berklee to banjo and mandolin players so those who want to learn what Berklee has to offer can now attend without having to substitute a different instrument. I'm also happy to have helped to add bluegrass to the list of styles heard daily at Berklee and give people who haven't really heard it a chance to discover what makes it great. But I want people to view banjo as simply a musical instrument, and bluegrass is just one facet of what it can do."

"It's been said that music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime isn't enough for music. I think everyone who goes to Berklee comes to understand that and realize that it's a blessing."