Carnegie Hall 2012 with friends Rubin Kodheli and (c) Mike Brown (b)
Carnegie Hall - Solo 2011 - Drawing by Michael Buscemi.
The Frida Kahlo Exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum opened with a piece of music I wrote in conjunction with The Miro Dance Company - 2008
Playing the piano for over 40 years, first studying under renowned pianist and harpsichordist Mary Jo Horton and Argentinean pianist Americo Caramuta and later under ECM recording artist Art Lande, Cieri's training spanned Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century, Jazz and Free Music. From there, Cieri drew out the shape of his inner voice as both a pianist and composer.
While running the music end of Denver’s best Jazz Club two years in a row (2003-2004 Best of Westword), he had the great good fortune to work with drummer Mike Clark of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and John Molo of Bruce Hornsby's band, bassists Rob Wasserman, Les Claypool, George Porter, Tony Franklin and Alfonso Johnson, Bluegrass legends Peter Rowan and Sam Bush, Jazz guitarists Melvin Sparks and Jimmy Herring.
Performing with the rock band Chief Broom, Cieri had the opportunity to play in venues all across the country from Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Fiddler's Green Stadium, The Fox Theatre and The Fillmore West, to Oregon’s Roseland Ballroom and Crystal Ballroom, to Cincinnati’s Riverbend Amphitheater and St. Louis’ Riverport Amphitheater. The 1997 Horde Tour was an opportunity for Cieri and Chief Broom to share the stage with Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Medeski Martin and Wood, Col. Bruce Hampton, Jeff Sipe, Anders Osborne, and members of Morphine, Primus, and Beck.
Deeply committed to live performance since moving to NYC, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, NYU Casa Italiana, Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, Gramercy Theater, The Living Room, The Bitter End, 55Bar, The Rockwood Music Hall, The Owl Music Parlor, The Blender Theater, The SVA Theater among other places which allow for sounds.
In July 2009, Cieri was selected by the Ibla International Composers’ Competition in Italy, where he performed four solo piano concerts, each consisting of his own compositions, at the Piazza Pola in Ragusa, Sicily. As part of the winners’ circle for this international competition, Cieri performed at sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017. Jeffery James of International Composer reported, “Composer David Cieri performed his original improvised music at Carnegie Hall. These interesting keyboard rambles hint at many contemporary and classical influences and use some extended techniques inside the piano. He shows flashes of real wit and good organizational and musical imagination.”
In 2008 Cieri composed the score for internationally known visual artist Marcel Dzama’s film The Lotus Eaters and performed the score live for two months at the esteemed David Zwirner Gallery in Manhattan. The New York Times reported that the exhibition was “greatly buoyed by its musical accompaniment, especially on Saturday, when the pianist David Cieri improvises to the action on screen, delivering one of the most poignant aesthetic experiences currently available in Chelsea.”
Since March of 2008 he has been working with Ken Burns as a composer for Burns’ documentary films released on PBS, including the 2009 release, Emmy Award winning National Parks series, an addendum to Baseball: The Tenth Inning, released in 2010, and Prohibition released in 2011. In April 2014, The Address, which Cieri contributed to, will premiere on PBS. In September of 2014 The Roosevelts - An Intimate History will premiere on PBS - Cieri composed and performed the original score for this film. In addition, Cieri is finished composing music for the score of the next Ken Burns film (along with Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross and Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble) on The Vietnam War due to premiere September 17th, 2017. In 2015 Ark Media, under the direction of Barak Goodman, will be releasing a three part series on the history of cancer based on the book by Siddhartha Mukerjee of the same title, Emperor of All Maladies. Also in 2015, A documentary about the extraordinary life of Gerald Ford premiered on National Geographic. Recently, Cieri has composed the score for Oklahoma City (which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival) - a film which revisits and contextualizes the bombing of the Murrah building in 94. Cieri's score for this film was selected by The Academy of Motion Pictures as a contender for an Oscar Nomination in 2013 for Raymond De Felitta's new film Booker's Place - A Mississippi Story. . Booker's Place recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and had a two week run in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. Also, Take My Nose Please - a doc about the ins and out of plastic surgery is premiering at festivals in 2017.
As of August 2009, Cieri is an adjunct assistant professor at the City College of New York, teaching Film Scoring and Music and Film. As of March 2011, Cieri is teaching ongoing classes on The Art of Listening at the 92nd Street Y.
David remains very grateful for these life-giving opportunities and looks forward to an ever-expanding future of developing community through sound.
A short clip of some piano playing in Ibla Sicily 2009