David Pharris


David Pharris has played Second Clarinet in the Minnesota Orchestra since 2005, and he served as Acting Associate Principal clarinet from 2014-16. In addition, he also served as 2nd clarinet in the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to balmy Minnesota, David spent 16 years in Florida, first in the Florida Orchestra in Tampa/St. Petersburg, then in the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra in Miami/Fort Lauderdale. David played in the Santa Fe Opera for 13 summers, and it was there that he discovered New Mexican cuisine (why are there no New Mexican restaurants in the Twin Cities?!?) and coffee. When the last intermission of The Marriage of Figaro STARTS at midnight you need coffee just to make it to the end!

David comes from a musical family. His father, Bill Pharris, was recently inducted into the Georgia Bandmasters Hall of Fame. His mother, Helen, studied the clarinet and still plays in a community band. His brother, Steve, played tuba in the University of Georgia Redcoat Band, and is a middle school band director. As a high school student, David played in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and spent his summers at the Brevard (NC) Music Center. He went on to Northwestern University, where he studied with Clark Brody of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Robert Marcellus of the Cleveland Orchestra.

In addition to his duties with the Minnesota Orchestra, he loves playing chamber music, and performed at the orchestra’s first Chamber Music at MacPhail concert. Each summer, David spends 2 or 3 weeks performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. David lives in Minneapolis with his wife Rachel, an acupuncturist and former violist, and daughter Georgia, who loves the piano and tolerates the clarinet.

David kicks off the third movement from György Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles, performed at the start of our 41st season in 2011.