David and I discussed, among other things, his musical family and the perks which came with it while growing up in the midst of the Chicago Symphony; his studies with two great violinists Aaron Rosand and Szymon Goldberg at Curtis and Julliard, respectively; his "live national TV debut", a story in itself, and the benefits and blessings of being a musician. (You can download the podcast to listen to later, or you can also find it in iTunes)
The fun music you hear a bit of at the beginning of the podcast, and the whole (3 minute) movement at the end is: "Banjo and Fiddle" by William Kroll, performed by the Niwa Duo (David with sister Gail).
Violinist David Niwa’s extensive performing career has included feature appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute, the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony. He has been the featured in recital at the Sunday at Central series, as well as, the Corcoran Gallery, the Terrace Theatre of the Kennedy Center, the Cloitre des Jacobins, and Landgraf. Since 1990, he has been featured regularly as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble throughout Japan and Southeast Asia. He appeared annually with the Chamber Orchestra of the Palisades and the Plainfield, NJ Symphony, where he also served as concertmaster.
An active chamber musician, and an active proponent of 20th and 21st century music, Mr. Niwa was honored to perform Gunther Schuller’s “Paradigm Exchanges” and present the United States premiere of Penderecki’s “Sextet” in collaboration with the Ohio State University. His other engagements include concerts with The Niwa Duo, (formed with his sister Gail), The High St. Four, (David is a founding member), The Lighthouse Chamber Players, The Snake River Chamber Players, The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music at Great Gorge. David has also performed numerous functions for Chicago’s Polish Arts Club. Previously he has performed in Reno, Miami, New York City, and Nice. In 1987 and ‘88, he was the invited guest artist-in-residence at the festival de la Gesse in southwestern France.
A native Chicagoan, Mr. Niwa began his studies at the age of five. While under the tutelage of his father, Raymond Niwa, he was awarded top prizes in all five divisions of the prestigious Society of American Musicians Competition. He was a three-time winner of the ISMTA competition, a winner of the St. Paul Musical Arts Competition, and was awarded scholarships by the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation. In 1982, Mr. Niwa was a prizewinner in the NFAA Recognition and Talent Search, and a finalist in the 17- general Motors National Concerto Competition. In 1985 he made his live national TV debut with Tchaikovsky Concerto on NBC. Mr. Niwa currently serves as Assistant Concertmaster of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and as the Artistic Director for the prestigious Sunday at Central series.
Mr. Niwa holds degrees from the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, where his teachers were Aaron Rosand and Szymon Goldberg, respectively. His other mentors include Nathan Milstein, Lorand Fenyves, Samuel Rhodes and Felix Galimir.
He enjoys cooking and eating, golfing, skiing, and, is an avid tennis player.