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“Improvisation is not the expression of accident but rather of the accumulated yearnings, dreams, and wisdom of our very soul.”

                              --Yehudi Menuhin

Dr. David Rudge teaches Free Improvisation at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he leads The Improv. Collective, a performing ensemble dedicated to free improvisation for self-expression. 

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As an improvising violinist, he has performed with Paul Winter, Paul Horn, Arthur Hull, Don Campbell and David Darling. He has also served as conductor for David Darling and Jon-Luc Ponty. 

Classical violin study was with Yumi Ninomiya, Jascha Brodsky, Renato Bonacini, and Fredell Lack. Chamber music coaching has been with members of the Curtis, Cleveland, Kolisch, Amadeus, Portland, Razumovsky and Emerson String Quartets. David has also pursued baroque performance practice, as both a violinist and conductor, with the directors and members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.


Involved with Music for People, a nonprofit founded by Grammy-winning cellist David Darling, since its inception, David now serves on its full-time teaching staff, where he directs its Musicianship Program. For over 30 years he has been committed to sharing the art of improvisation with musicians and “non-musicians” alike. 

David has taught Free Improvisation in such diverse settings as Oklahoma State University, Public Schools in CT, SC, NY, the Kiental Center in Switzerland, the Tenri Cultural Center in NYC, Strings without Boundaries, the American Fiddle Camp, Charles Castleman’s Quartet Program, the North Carolina School of the Arts. and the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies, where he was part of the summer staff. 

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For many years David has collaborated

with acclaimed dancer/choreographer

Terry Beck on numerous projects as composer, performer and co-facilitator. Together they have offered a rare dance improvisation course, unique in that it features live music made by experienced improvisers. 

David was a member of the College Music Society Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major, and co-author of its published document entitled Transforming Music Study from Its Foundations: A Manifesto for Progressive Change in the Undergraduate Preparation of Music Majors, which advocates strongly for including Improvisation in the college curriculum.


Dr. Rudge, Music Director of the Rock Hill Symphony in SC, is also the Director of Orchestras and Opera at SUNY Fredonia. He has conducted symphony orchestras and operas in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America to critical acclaim. (