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David Spear. Artist in Residence 2017
David Spear. Artist in Residence 2017

David Spear is a composer, conductor and pianist. He graduated from UCLA where he was awarded the Henry Mancini scholarship. His career began orchestrating many film scores for Elmer Bernstein including Airplane, Animal House, Heavy Metal and Ghostbusters. After his Broadway debut as Music Director of Merlin, the Magical Musical, Spear composed scores for 3 Academy Award nominated films: Ballet Robotique, Rainbow War and The Courage to Care. He also wrote the music for the Emmy Award winning National Geographic documentary, Surviving Everest. He has led the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony and the Munich Philharmonic in recordings of his own works. Spear conducted the Indianapolis Symphony for the world premiere of The Langston Hughes Project featuring Ice-T and the Ron McCurdy Quartet.

A dedicated educator, David Spear served as faculty at Berklee College of Music (1991-1995) and the USC Thornton School of Music (1995-2006) where he received the Casden Institute research grant to re-score Samuel Goldwyn’s 1922 classic Yiddish silent film “Hungry Hearts” in collaboration with his graduate students. The new score and restored print premiered at the 2007 New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center. He recently concluded a 4-year appointment as Music Associate Professor at New York University.

His Fall 2017 Course JST 431/431H Arts and Jewish Experience: New Music and Sound for a Classic Silent Film will provide a unique and special opportunity for students to compose, adapt, arrange, and orchestrate a fresh musical score for an historic silent film, "Jewish Luck" (1925). Class participants will have their original work performed, published, and recorded - thus earning a professional credential. Students interested in taking the course for credits in Musical Composition (MUS 409/509) and Arts and Letters (JST 431/431H) are invited to apply. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.