David Williamson joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986, and has since performed a broad range of repertoire not only in classical subscription concerts, but in more than 30 Orchestra-sponsored programs. These have included chamber music concerts at Sommerfest and other venues, family concerts, pops programs—where he has often played jazz bass—and many Kinder Konzerts.
Since 2001 Williamson has also served as principal bass of the Oregon Bach Festival with conductor Helmuth Rilling. He performs regularly at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in 2004 he performed at Music in the Vineyards in Napa, California. He has been a guest faculty member at Stringwood, a chamber music camp in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Prior to joining the Orchestra, Williamson held the position of principal bass with the New Orleans Symphony and performed with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra for seven summers.
Williamson, who in 2013 co-founded a new chamber music group, the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, has appeared on the Colonial Chamber Series and with the Bakken Trio, Bach Chamber Players of St. Paul, Isles Ensemble, Artaria String Quartet and Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. In addition, he has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as guest principal bass. He is a member of the faculty at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he teaches bass. In 2019 and 2022 he went to Cuba as the bass teacher for the newly-formed Cuban American Youth Orchestra.
A native of St. Paul, Williamson earned a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying with Roger Scott. He previously attended the University of Minnesota and Indiana University. Outside of Orchestra Hall, he is an avid hockey player and can often be seen canoeing on Minnesota’s lakes.
David has been on at least 30 trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, in both summer and winter.