1. Faculty

David Burkhart


"Burkhart's generous, even rich, tone excellently reflected his studies with the best (including Adolph Herseth). There was security in the line, in the genial bel canto acrobatics, firm articulation and nice style." —San Francisco Chronicle


  • Private Lessons
  • Trumpet Class
  • Chamber Music


  • MM, Yale University
  • BA, Yale University


  • San Francisco Symphony, Extra
  • San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Extra
  • San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Extra
  • The Bay Brass, Founding Member


  • Nominated, Grammy for Best Small Ensemble Performance, 2011
  • Winner, California Young Artists' Competition
  • Honors Graduate, Yale College

What is your hometown?

San Bruno, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Clifford Brown with Strings.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

SF history, writing, brewing beer, genealogy, and sports.

Who were your major teachers?

Charles Geyer, Adolph Herseth, Arnold Jacobs, and Robert Nagel.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“Every technical problem has a musical solution.”

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Could you help me with my music for this concert tomorrow?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When I decided to enroll in the master’s program at Yale.

What was a turning point in your career?

When I left New Haven, CT to go to Israel to be first trumpet with the Jerusalem Symphony.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Full-time historian/writer.

What is your daily practice routine?

60–90 minutes early every morning, plus same in afternoon/evening depending on rehearsal/concert schedule that day.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

R. Strauss, Wagner, and Bach.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Bach's birth: 1685 in Eisenach.

What are your most important collaborations?

Rehearsing and performing with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet.

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Mark Grisez, Jeff Strong, and Scott Macomber.

What are your academic publications?

Various article for the International Trumpet Guild.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Bay Brass: Sound the Bells!, Harmonia Mundi
A Brass and Organ Christmas, Gothic
Robert Erickson: Night Music, New World CRI
Mahler: Symphony No. 2, London
Mahler: Symphony No. 6, Delos

What is your unrealized project?

Three history books, one of which should be published in 2018.