David Conte

David Conte (born 1955), is an American composer who has written over one hundred works published by E.C. Schirmer, including six operas, a musical, works for chorus, solo voice, orchestra, chamber music, organ, piano, guitar, and harp. Conte has received commissions from Chanticleer, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Harvard University Chorus, the Men’s Glee Clubs of Cornell University and the University of Notre Dame, GALA Choruses from the cities of San Francisco, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., the Dayton Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony, the Stockton Symphony, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the American Guild of Organists (2004, 2009, 2014, 2015), Sonoma City Opera, and the Gerbode Foundation (for his opera America Tropical). He was honored with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Brock Commission in 2007.[1]

David Conte

Education and careerEdit

Conte earned his bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Wallace DePue, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University, where he studied with Karel Husa, Steven Stucky, and Robert Palmer.

Conte has been honored as a Fulbright scholar in Paris (where he studied with Nadia Boulanger), a Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellow and an Aspen Music Festival Conducting Fellow. He has served on the faculties of Cornell, Colgate University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. While at Cornell, he served as both the assistant director and acting director of the Cornell University Glee Club, for whom he composed numerous works. Since 1985 has been Professor of Composition and Conservatory Chorus conductor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Composer-in-Residence with the theater company Thick Description since 1991. In 2010 he was appointed to the composition faculty of the European American Musical Alliance/Nadia Boulanger Institute in Paris, and in 2011 he joined the board of the American Composers Forum. Since 2014 he has been the Composer in Residence with Cappella SF, a San Francisco-based professional chorus.

Some of his more well-known works include operas The Gift of the Magi (Nicholas Giardini, librettist), which has received over 25 productions in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and The Dreamers (Philip Littell, librettist), which led to a commission from the Oakland Symphony for The Journey (a cantata, 2001). Film scores include Orozco: Man of Fire for the PBS American Master's Series (2006), and Ballets Russes shown at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals (2005). Other prominent works include “Fantasy for Orchestra”, and “A Copland Portrait” (orchestra and band), and Soliloquy, and Pastorale and Toccata (organ). Many of his choral works have received wide acceptance, including Cantate Domino, Invocation and Dance, Ave Maria, Charm me asleep, Elegy for Matthew, September Sun, An Exhortation, and Three Mexican Folk Songs.



  • The Dreamers
  • The Gift of the Magi
  • Firebird Motel
  • America Tropical
  • Famous
  • Stonewall


  • The Passion of Rita St. James (produced at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2003)

Film scoresEdit

  • Ballets Russes (Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals in 2005)
  • Orozco: Man of Fire (PBS American Masters Series, 2007)

Choral works (partial list)Edit

  • Cantate Domino (SATB 1975)
  • Hosanna (SATB; 1979; SSAA; 1982)
  • Canticle (From Three Sacred Pieces - TTBB 1982; SATB 1984)
  • The Waking (SATB 1985)
  • Invocation and Dance (TTBB 1986; SATB 1989)
  • Valediction (SATB, organ; 1989)
  • Ave Maria (SATB 1991)
  • In Praise of Music (SSA 1991; SATB 1994)
  • Charm me asleep (SATB 1993)
  • American Triptych (SATB, chamber ensemble; 1999)
  • Elegy for Matthew (TTBB 1999: SATB 2000)
  • September Sun (SATB, String Orchestra; 2002)
  • O Magnum Mysterium (SATB; 2002)
  • A Hope Carol (SSAA 2006)
  • The Nine Muses (ACDA Brock commission; SATB 2007)
  • An Exhortation (Premiered at the Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama; TTBB, SSAA, SATB 2009)
  • Carmina Juventutis (TTBB, piano four-hands)
  • Songs of Love and War (TTBB, piano four-hands; 2011)
  • Three Mexican Folk Songs (SATB; TTBB; SSAA; 2 violins, guitar, bass, or piano; 2014)
  • A Whitman Triptych (SATB; 2015)


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Retrieved March 2016


External linksEdit