A distinguished member of The Cleveland Orchestra since 1995, David Alan Harrell
enjoys a multifaceted career as both a performer and educator and has been hailed by
critics as a cellist with “plenty of technique and interpretive panache.” Prior to his
appointment with The Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Harrell was a member of the Virginia
Symphony, assistant principal cellist of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckinridge,
Colorado, and was selected to perform with Sir Georg Solti in his Carnegie Hall Project.
Originally from South Carolina, Mr. Harrell began to play the cello under the tutelage of
Michael Bell and Hans Schmettau. He went on to study with Carlton McCreery at the
University of Alabama, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music.
Mr. Harrell then received his Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of
Music, where he studied with former Cleveland Orchestra principal cellist Stephen Geber
and was awarded the prestigious Cello Prize in 1994. Mr. Harrell has been the winner of
numerous competitions and prizes including the Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship and
the MTNA National Scholarship.
In great demand as both performer and teacher, Mr. Harrell has most recently played
concerti with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra, the Spartanburg Philharmonic, and the
Masterworks Festival Orchestra. He has also performed numerous solo recitals and
chamber music concerts around the country. Of a 2010 performance in West Palm
Beach, The Palm Beach Arts Paper wrote that “Harrell brought a large, intense tonal
quality to the playing of this flashy showpiece.” In a review of the Elgar Cello Concerto,
CoolCleveland.com said “Harrell did not disappoint, and played with the skill, expression,
and emotion that one would expect to hear from such an accomplished professional.”
Mr. Harrell is Professor of Music at Cleveland State University and serves on the faculty
of a number of summer music festivals, including the Masterworks Festival, Stringendo
School for Strings, Credo Chamber Music Festival, and the Kent/Blossom Chamber
Music Festival. A popular guest clinician, Mr. Harrell has taught masterclasses
throughout the United States, as well as in Asia and South America. He is particularly
passionate about bringing music into public schools and is one of the founding
musicians in The Cleveland Orchestra’s award winning Learning Through Music
Program, a community music initiative in local elementary schools.