David Allen Wehr is Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair. His international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid, and Buenos Aires. Over 1,300 concerts include 13 seasons of touring the United States and Canada for Community Concerts as soloist and pianist with the Sartory Trio (including Charles Stegeman, Professor of Violin at Duquesne). Wehr has been soloist with the London Symphony, National Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, and all the major Spanish and Latin American orchestras. The New York Times called him "a man who so strongly believes in his ideas that they come across as statements of musical fact." The American Record Guide stated, "David Allen Wehr is one of those great talents who play circles around most of their contemporaries. Few pianists have so consistently produced such exemplary, idiomatic, intellectually rigorous, and emotionally generous music. He is an uncommonly free, expressive player whose huge but unobtrusive technical apparatus never draws attention to itself but is put squarely in the service of musical values. He is more than a pianist's pianist; he is a musician's musician."
Wehr is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance. Early in his career, Wehr won the 1975 Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York City, the 1983 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award, and Second Prizes in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition at New York's Carnegie Hall, and the 1986 Kapell Competition at the Kennedy Center.
David Allen Wehr has amassed a large and critically acclaimed discography with Connoisseur Society, including the complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle, which he performed at Duquesne over the 2002–2004 seasons as the first Music on the Bluff series. Since that time, the series has grown and now is Pittsburgh's premier piano-oriented chamber music series, playing to a loyal group of subscribers, focusing each season on the music of a specific composer or national style. The series features members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty and the Pittsburgh Symphony and international guest artists such as Noah Bendix-Balgley, Andrés Cárdenes, Cynthia Raim, and Barbara Nissman.
Wehr was first associated with Duquesne from 1991–1994, when the Sartory Trio was chamber ensemble-in-residence, and his current tenure began in 2001, when he was named the first Hillman Distinguished Chair, the first endowed chair ever at the university.
Areas of Expertise:
- Classical Piano
- Chamber Music
- Piano Literature
David Allen Wehr's Bluff Series is an extraordinarily popular chamber music series featuring members of the Mary Pappert School of Music faculty, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and other internationally-known artists. Spanning nearly two decades, the series now regularly sells out concerts to a fiercely loyal crowd. Past themes in the series include:
2002–2004: Complete Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle
2004: Beethoven's Dynamic Duos: Complete Works for Cello and Piano, Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Ninth Symphony for Two Pianos
2005–2008: Brahms on the Bluff: Complete Chamber Music
2008–2010: Musique on the Bluff (French music)
2010: Bicentennials on the Bluff (Chopin and Schumann)
2011–2012: Dvořák at Duquesne
2012–2013: Budapest on the Bluff (Hungarian music)
2013–2015: Beethoven on the Bluff
2015–2016: Schubert/David Stock on the Bluff
2016–2017: Schubert/Copland on the Bluff
2017–2018: Schubert/Debussy on the Bluff
2018–2019: Moscow on the Bluff (Russian music)
For more information or tickets to the current series, please visit duq.edu/BluffSeries