Born in Oslo and with an A-list education at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, New York’s Julliard School and London’s Guildhall School, violinist David Coucheron was appointed Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster last December. The 26-year-old officially begins in September. Sophie Cox, a journalism major at the University of Georgia and a summer intern with the ASO, takes it from there.

What got you started?

Both of my parents have always been interested in music and when I was 3, my mother saw an ad at the local supermarket for a violin. I have played ever since.

Who encouraged you when you didn’t feel like practicing?

When I was 5, my mother gave me goodies if I practiced well. Now my motivation is the fact that I never do anything half way. If on some days I feel I can’t practice well, I will wait. Practicing just for the sake of putting in hours is, for me, a waste of time.

How do you relax when not practicing and performing?

Ironically, one form of relaxing for me is having a lot of time to prepare a new piece of music. With a busy schedule like mine, that can sometimes seem like a treat!

What is it like to perform with your sister Julie, a pianist?

I love working with my sister. We have developed a unique way of playing and she knows me so well. Although we still fight sometimes, I feel like the luckiest violinist in the world to be able to duet with my sister.

What has been the most rewarding or memorable moment of your career so far?

I don’t have a ranking list of the most rewarding or memorable moments yet, but I love giving the audience an experience that will enrich and change their lives.

What exactly does a Concertmaster do, and considering your relatively young age, what do you see as the challenges ahead?

The Concertmaster serves as the link between the orchestra and the conductor.

As the youngest concertmaster of any major U.S. orchestra, I was initially a bit intimidated. Now, I’m just going to be myself, trust my instincts, prepare well, and have a good time!

Are you living Intown?

I just got a great place on 12th and Juniper, which is walking distance to Symphony Hall. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to meet too many people, but I am hopeful that will change when I move permanently in August!

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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