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“Maverick Cellist” David Darling Performs at Middlebury March 8

February 17, 2012

Grammy-Winning Artist is Pioneer of Contemporary Performance and Collaboration

daviddarlingMiddlebury, VT—Acclaimed, genre-bending cellist David Darling will perform a recital on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts Dance Theatre. This free, public concert is the highlight of several days of cross-disciplinary activities proposed by Middlebury College students, supported by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts.


Described as a “maverick cellist,” Darling mixes genres including jazz, pop, rock, country, and New Age with intellectual curiosity and playful innovation. His evocative, breakthrough compositions for cello have earned him international respect from experimental and jazz musicians, and teachers revere him for his delightful, transformative workshops in musical expression. His 2009 CD Prayer for Compassion received a Grammy for best New Age album. Down Beat Magazine raved, “Darling’s range of stylistic evocations moves from early music to ethereal, from swarthy impressionism to folk sonorities...All is dark and wintry but somehow transcendent.”



daviddarling2Darling was a member of the influential Paul Winter Consort from 1969–87. The Consort was one of the first proponents of world music, incorporating African, Asian, Brazilian, and Indian melodies, rhythms, and sounds into jazz. This “adventure through music” explored a wealth of sound textures. Prior to Darling, no one had taken the cello out of its classical context.


Darling’s diverse collaborations demonstrate his interest in environmentalism, spirituality, and social gain. His prolific career includes playing music with whales and wolves, and doing so in such amazing locales as the depths of the Grand Canyon. He contributed to nature writer Barry Lopez’s book River Notes and author/conservationist Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. Darling’s collaborations in dance (Pilobolus) and film (Wim Wenders) reflect his belief in the social and spiritual power of musical expression.


daviddarling3Darling has also several important spearheaded music programs for youth. He founded the nonprofit organization Music for People, and offers workshops to bring the creative, improvisational power of music into everyone’s life. He has also dedicated over a decade of his life to the Young Audiences Art Program; whose mission is to instill in young people from pre-kindergarten to high school an appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the performing, visual and literary arts. Darling’s programs show how music can stimulate learning, imagination, creativity, awareness, and balance.


Middlebury College Music department students, Environmental Studies/Dance joint majors, and members of the student Yoga and Wellness Club jointly proposed Darling’s residency. His visit will include yoga/meditation sessions, improvisation jams, and a lecture entitled “Music and the Environment” for the campus community. This residency is sponsored by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts. Established in 2011, this fund provides opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experience in the performing arts, with support from the Performing Arts Series and Dance Program.

David Darling’s concert at Middlebury is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. For more information, call (802) 443-3168 or go to

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax