Dr. David Bowden

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Born and raised in North Carolina, David has loved music since he was a very young child.  At the age of four, he began studying the piano with his mother.  While in elementary school, he was accepted as a student of a piano professor at Duke University.  In addition to the piano, he has played clarinet, oboe, organ, and viola.

The 2015-16 Season marks David's seventeenth anniversary as Artistic Director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  Over these years, David has provided artistic vision and leadership as the CSO has grown artistically and in outreach to the surrounding region, preparing the orchestra to take its place as the resident orchestra of the Palladium.

David enjoys involving children in close-up experiences with music – his very popular (risky!) idea of allowing children to sit among orchestra members while the musicians are playing has become a one of the most popular CSO concerts – Family Fun! – each season.   David hopes to inspire children to choose to learn to play an instrument, believing that making music changes lives.

Well-known in the orchestra industry for his strengths as an orchestra builder and for his collaborative approach to community engagement, he has also acquired an international reputation for adventurous and creative programming. He has been recognized in this regard with five ASCAP Awards for Adventuresome Programming and glowing reviews. Displaying multi-faceted stylistic versatility, his ease on the podium, engaging personality, and insightful interpretations have connected with audiences and helped to break down the traditional barriers between performer and listener. 

A magna cum laude graduate of Wheaton College Conservatory of Music majoring in piano performance with a minor in organ, David has a particular love for orchestral music that features piano and organ.  Recordings of his concerts have been broadcast nationwide on National Public Radio's Performance Today and Public Radio International's Pipedreams.  His commercial recording of Marcel Dupré's Complete Music for Organ and Orchestra (Naxos) received rave international reviews.  

While a student at Wheaton, David met his wife, Donna – an RN, during an intramural volleyball game.  Graduate school took them to Bloomington, where David received his M.M. in Choral Conducting at Indiana University.  After teaching in the college setting for several years, David returned to IU and earned a Doctor of Music in Orchestral Conducting.

He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and has been listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World for the last decade.  He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild, an international service organization for conductors, and has served as Director of the Conductor's Guild New Music Project for almost two decades.

In addition to the CSO, David is Music Director of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic (and Chorus) and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra.   He has also been involved in church music ministry for most of his life.  David and his wife enjoy traveling and spending time with their children, grandchildren and extended families.