BYU violinist reflects on role with Utah Symphony

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David Price has walked onstage at Abravanel Hall to perform with the Utah Symphony. The BYU violin performance major’s talent and hard work began at a young age, and his accomplishments will not stop here.

David Price plays the violin. Price now substitutes for and often plays with the Utah Symphony, a high accomplishment. (Adam Rallison)

Price started playing the violin at 3 years old. “I don’t remember when I started playing, but I remember when I decided I wanted to play,” Price said. “I do have a memory of going up into the living room and listening to my family members play. I decided I wanted to.”

Price has played ever since. He practiced a lot because he was homeschooled until fifth grade. Every day, Price would practice two hours on the violin and one hour on the piano.

Price toured Italy with a violin group at 11 years old. He has soloed for the Utah Symphony several times and has won many competitions growing up. He also played during the opening celebrations for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

“I played on the national radio NPR,” Price said. “I kind of got to bear my testimony on national radio, which is super awesome.”

But Price’s biggest accomplishment was making it to the semi-finals of the Utah Symphony auditions in 2014. Hundreds of accomplished musicians audition. Price was the only Utah local to make it through, and there were only 10 people who made it to the semi-finals.

Those who auditioned for the Utah Symphony all had graduate degrees from Juilliard and other very prestigious music schools except for Price.

“I was really lucky,” Price said. “I’m still working on my undergraduate degree, and it’s not even from a music school.”

BYU alum David Price plays the violin. Price spent hours practicing the piano and violin as a child. (Adam Rallison)

Price is currently a violin performance major at BYU, although he originally never planned to attend school in Provo. After Price graduated high school in 2010, he applied and was accepted to various music schools.

His parents were able to support him financially and continue to be a support to him. “I would like to think I’m a nice critic,” said Dan Price, David’s father. “I am honest about what I think. I don’t give out compliments as often as I think David would like to hear, but he knows what I really think.”

Though Price was accepted to music schools, he said he felt he was supposed to apply to BYU-Idaho.

Priced attended BYU Idaho for a year. He then served a two-year mission to Berlin, Germany. After returning, Price planned on reapplying for music schools but knew there might be a scholarship waiting for him at BYU in Provo. Price started BYU in September 2012 and planned on staying for a year, when he could reapply to music schools.

“After a year at BYU, I just found I was getting what I wanted musically from the experience and it was just a lot better than I was expecting,” Price said.

Nate King, Price’s roommate, said he is rarely ever home. “He’s always practicing or performing somewhere,” King said. “I go to his shows sometimes and he really does play the violin really well. I think he will have a successful career playing the violin.”

Price has not always planned on being a violin performance major. When he first started at BYU, he took some chemical engineering classes, which he enjoyed.

“There are a lot of musicians that tell me, ‘If you have any interest in doing anything else, do it,'” Price said. “I could imagine myself doing other things, but there are certain things you get from music you don’t get from other things. Those things ended up being more important to me.”

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David Price plays in the DeJong concert hall. Price plans on applying to music schools, but he said he enjoys the education he is receiving at BYU. (Adam Rallison)

Price plans on graduating in August 2017. He hopes to attend a music school to receive both his masters and doctorate degree. He wants to apply to Juilliard, Colburn Music School, Cleveland Institute of Music and New England Conservatory.

“I will also apply to schools in Berlin. I would probably have a little bit of an advantage there because I speak German really well,” Price said.

Once Price is done with his doctorate, he said he would enjoy teaching at a university. “Part of the job as a university professor is to be performing, to be recording, to be teaching, to make a good name for yourself so it looks good for the school,” Price said.

Price owes a lot of his talent to his music teachers. He said these teachers shaped his character more than anybody else outside of his family. Along with being a student, Price teaches the violin for the Gifted Music School, and he also gives private lessons. “My teachers shaped me a ton,” Price said. “Every time I get a new student, I am using violins as a means of teaching character. I am more concerned with teaching the student than teaching the violin.”

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