Martin Davids leads and performs with period instrument ensembles across the United States including Brandywine Baroque, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Duo le Fils, Bach Collegium San Diego, Music of the Baroque, and is the founder and leader of Callipygian Players. In addition to being featured on numerous well-reviewed recordings, he has published a book of arrangements of J.S. Bach's solo violin fugues for two violins entitled Bachfor2.

 

How did you get started in music?

My parents forced me to choose an instrument at age 4.

How did you come to play your instrument?

It was generously loaned to me by a collector who believes in my talent and wants to hear it expressed on an awesome old violin.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a musician?

Balancing rewarding and fun out-of-town work opportunities with having a secure and happy family life.

What are a few of your favorite books about music?

Baillot's Art of the Violin and The Pathetic Musician by Burgess.

What else are you reading?

Lots of science fiction and books on Bagua zhang and Xingyiquan.

Who are your favorite 17th- and 18th-century composers?

Handel, Tessarini, Francoeur, Corelli, Tartini, Festing

What drew you to early music and period instrument performance?

Freedom. I grew up always getting yelled at for adding notes and ornaments to music. When I found out this was actually expected in baroque music, I was all over it.

How many instruments do you own?

Six.

Which one do you play the most?

My baroque violin.

What are the main differences between your period instrument and its modern version?

Gut strings, pitch, and the neck is a bit fatter.

What do you love about HOC?

I love how everyone gets along and really wants to make great music.

Do you have a favorite rehearsal or concert memory from a past HOC event?

Seeing my wife perform as Proserpina in a Charpentier opera.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making music?

I love to make my kids laugh.

What is the first thing you think about in the morning?

Drinking some delicious home-roasted coffee.

How would you describe the relationship between you and your instrument?

We're close. I miss him if I take a little time away, but the passion and pleasure upon returning is increased.

Who are your musical heroes?

Tartini, Heifetz.

If you had to play only one composer for the rest of your career, whom would you choose?

Handel!

What music do you listen to most often?

A strange combination of Top 40 (!), whatever rock album I recently purchased, recent releases of myself and my friends, and WFMT -- if they aren't playing piano music.

If you had not been a musician what do you think you would have done instead?

Paleontologist or Mixed Martial Arts referee.