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thumbnail_IMG_9406 Repair 1 Lighter Fina

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

                              --Yehudi Menuhin

David Rudge leads clinics and Playshops on Improvisation in the US and internationally for all age groups. For over 20 years he taught Free Improvisation at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he founded The Improv. Collective, a performing ensemble dedicated to free improvisation for self-expression. 

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As an improvising violinist, involved with the Human Potential Movement, 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.


Since its inception, David has been involved with Music for People, a nonprofit founded by Grammy-winning cellist David Darling. David now serves on its Board, teaching staff, and directs its Musicianship Program.

For over 30 years he has taught Free Improvisation in such diverse settings as Oklahoma State University, Connecticut, SC, NY Public Schools, the Kiental Center in Switzerland, the Tenri Cultural Center in NY City, 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 he 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. 

 Dr. Rudge was a member of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major, and co-author of it’s 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 curriculum of college music programs. 


Formerly Music Director of the Rock Hill Symphony in SC, he was also Director of Orchestras and Opera at SUNY Fredonia for 25 years. He has conducted symphony orchestras and operas in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America to critical acclaim, and is committed to sharing the art of improvisation with everyone. (

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