Dr. David Kováč maintains a varied career as a violist, artistic director, chamber
musician, and instructor of violin and viola. He was appointed as assistant professor
of violin and viola at East Tennessee State University in 2016. He has collaborated
with members of the Miami String Quartet, the Rosamunde Trio, the Appalachia Piano
Trio, New Ear Ensemble (a Kansas City based new music ensemble), and members of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,
Kansas City Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and other
orchestras around the United States and Europe. Other chamber music collaborations
include performances with faculty at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Stony
Brook University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Park University's International
Center for Music, University of Tennessee, University of Kansas, and University of
Nevada Las Vegas. He has performed as the featured soloist with the Kansas City Civic
Orchestra in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and has collaborated in opera productions
with the renowned Mark Morris Dance Company.
In 2009 Dr. Kováč performed the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's Puntos Suspensivos
at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. The work was commissioned in part by the performing
arts series, "Works and Process" at the Guggenheim Museum. That same year he co-founded
the Stringendo Chamber Music Program as part of the Heartland Music Academy in Mission,
Kansas. The year-round program is designed to coach new and beginning chamber ensembles.
Dr. Kováč's work with the Heartland Music Academy also included coaching the Heartland
Virtuosi and Camerata Chamber orchestras. He remains artistic director of the Heartland
Chamber Music Festival, an internationally renowned summer program for young musicians
that draws students and faculty from across the world, including the Miami String
Quartet, Ivan Chen, and Noah Geller.
Dr. Kováč's former students have included the concertmaster of the Kansas City Youth
Symphony and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as first-prize winners at
the Kansas Music Teachers Association State competitions and winners of the Kansas
chapter of the Music Teacher's National Association competition. His students have
received scholarships to numerous prestigious schools and summer programs, including
the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, Pepperdine University, McGill University,
University of Tulsa, University of Dallas, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Park
University, Killington Chamber Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Chamber Music Festival.
Among notable collaborations are Masterclasses with Borromeo String Quartet, Miami
String Quartet and Chiara String Quartet, Michael Stern. He has previously taught
at the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley, MA, the Brattleboro Music Center in
Vermont, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and
Dance. He regularly serves as an adjudicator at for a variety of local, state, and
national festivals and competitions.
Dr. Kováč began his musical studies on violin at the age of four in his home country,
the Czech Republic. Later, at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava, he chose the
viola as his main instrument. He completed his Bachelor of Music as a scholarship
student at the Longy School of Music in Boston and received his Master of Music in
viola performance from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he served as
a graduate assistant in chamber music and orchestra. In 2002, Dr. Kováč became the
violist in the Graduate Fellowship String Quartet at UMKC, where he completed the
Doctor of Musical Arts in viola performance. He has studied with Pavel Vítek, Michelle
LaCourse, and Scott Lee, and his chamber music coaches have included Benjamin Zander,
Charles Treger, Sonya Monosoff, Katherine Murdock, Eric Stumacher, and Robert Marfeld.
David Kováč performs on a viola made by Christopher Germain.