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Biography

David Conte (b. 1955) is currently Professor of Composition and Chair of the Composition Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has received commissions from Chanticleer, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Dayton, Oakland and Stockton Symphonies, the American Guild of Organists, Sonoma City Opera and the Gerbode Foundation.  In 2007 he received the Raymond Brock commission from the American Choral Directors Association. Conte has composed six operas: The Dreamers; The Gift of the Magi; Firebird Motel; and America Tropical; (these last two commissioned by San Francisco theater company Thick Description, for whom Conte has been Composer-In-Residence since 1991);  Famous, for the San Francisco Conservatory, based on the book "Famous for 15 Minutes - My Years with Andy Warhol" by Ultra Violet; and Stonewall for the University of Northern Colorado. He is also the composer of a musical, The Passion of Rita St. James, produced at the SF Conservatory in 2003. His operas have been produced at the Berlin International Opera, USC, University of Minnesota, Hidden Valley (Carmel CA), and many other colleges, universities, and regional companies. He has also composed songs for singers Barbara Bonney, Thomas Hampson and Phyllis Bryn-Julson. His work is represented on many commercial CD recordings. Conte received a Fulbright Fellowship for study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, where he was one of her last students; the Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellowship and an Aspen Music Festival Conducting Fellowship. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Ruth Inglefield and Wallace DePue, and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Cornell University where he studied with Karel Husa, Robert Palmer, Steven Stucky and Thomas Sokol. In 1982, Conte worked with Aaron Copland preparing a study of the composer’s sketches. He has taught at Cornell University, Keuka College, Colgate University and Interlochen.  Conte co-wrote the film score for the documentary Ballets Russes, shown at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals in 2005, (now available on DVD), and composed the music for the PBS documentary, Orozco: Man of Fire, shown on the American Masters Series in the fall of 2007.  In 2010 he was appointed to the composition faculty of the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, and in 2011 he joined the board of the American Composers Forum. In 2014 he was named Composer in Residence with Cappella SF, a professional chorus in San Francisco.