Author Archives: David Salvage

Biography (Scorrere verso il basso per la versione italiana.)

David Salvage (b. 1978) is an American composer and pianist who lives in Bologna, Italy. Born into a family of non-musicians, at age four he asked his parents for a piano, a wish that was granted on the condition that he take lessons for five years. Instead, he took them for fifteen years, along the way developing an interest in composition, winning local and national competitions as a pianist and composer, becoming one of the first pianists selected for the Perlman Music Program, and winning a scholarship to Harvard University, where he shifted his focus to composition. He continued his studies at Manhattan School of Music and the City University of New York, earned his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Gyorgy Kurtàg, and went into academia full-time, teaching music theory and history. A lifelong Europhile, when the opportunity arose to live abroad for a while, he took it, and now he is a dual citizen of Italy and the United States. He has composed for orchestra, film, choir, and ensembles of all kinds and has received over a hundred performances at venues ranging from the Juilliard School to the British Institute of Florence. His music can be as familiar as songs you’ve heard a thousand times or as strange as the latest musical novelty. What he strives for is not so much stylistic consistency as a faithfulness to human experience in all its variety. He enjoys reading, commiserating about current events with his wife, and playing backgammon with his children. His music can also be heard on Navona Records and his website,

Versione italiana —

David Salvage (1978) è un compositore e pianista statunitense che abita a Bologna. Nato in una famiglia estranea alla musica, all’età di quattro anni ha chiesto un pianoforte ai genitori, un desiderio che è stato esaudito a condizione che prendesse lezioni per cinque anni. Le ha seguite invece per quindici anni, e lungo il percorso ha sviluppato un particolare interesse per la composizione, ha vinto premi regionali e nazionali come pianista e compositore, E’ diventato uno dei primi giovani pianisti scelti per il Perlman Music Program, e ha vinto una borsa di studio alla Harvard University, per poi decidere di concentrarsi sulla composizione. Ha continuato i suoi studi presso la Manhattan School of Music e la City University of New York, ha conseguito il dottorato di ricerca con una tesi su Gyorgy Kurtàg, e ha trovato lavoro nell’ateneo insegnando a tempo pieno storia della musica e teoria musicale. Filoeuropeo da sempre, ha colto l’opportunità di trasferirsi all’estero per un po’ quando questa gli si è presentata e ora possiede la doppia cittadinanza statunitense e italiana. Ha composto musica per orchestra, film, coro e insiemi di diversi generi e le sue opere hanno ricevuto più di cento esecuzioni in sedi come la Juilliard School e il British Institute of Florence. La sua musica può essere familiare come una canzone ascoltata mille volte o strana come quella curiosità  musicale più recente. Si preoccupa più di una fedeltà all’esperienza umana in tutta la sua varietà  che di una consistenza stilistica. Gli piace leggere, commiserarsi davanti alle notizie dal mondo con la moglie e giocare a backgammon con i suoi figli. La sua musica può essere ascoltata anche su Navona Records e sul suo sito web,

“Fast Horns”

Albumleaf 185: October 19, 2021 (Bologna)


An hour-long disc of my piano compositions inspired by Bologna now out from Deux-Elles Records. For purchase here and streaming on all the platforms You can also purchase a signed copy directly from me. See the SCORES page for my contact information. Meantime, enjoy the music video we filmed last January here in Bologna!

“Two Draughts from Lago Lambin”

Albumleaf 184: September 10, 2021 (Bologna)

Moments from Proust. III. “Saint-Loup’s Watch”

Albumleaf 183: August 20, 2021 (Bologna) I heard the tick of Saint-Loup’s watch, which could not be far away. The tick changed place every moment, for I could not see the watch; it seemed to come from behind, from in front of me, from my right, from my left; sometimes to die away as though […]

Moments from Proust. II. “The Restaurant at Rivebelle”

Albumleaf 182: June 14, 2021 (Bologna) . . . this music that greeted our ears—arrangements of waltzes of German operettas, of music-hall songs, all of them quite new to me—was itself like an ethereal pleasure-dome superimposed upon the other and more intoxicating still.  [. . .]  But while I was humming softly to myself the […]

Moments from Proust. I. Dreams of Travel and of Love

Albumleaf 181: May 3, 2021 (Bologna) Thus, if I always imagined the woman I loved surrounded by the places I longed for most at the time, if I would have liked her to be the one who took me to visit them, who opened the way for me into an unknown world, it was not […]


Albumleaf 180: February 15, 2021 (Bologna) A cutesy one for the music-theory geeks. (A little circle of fifths and geometry, and you should get the idea.)


Albumleaf 179: February 5, 2021 (Bologna) “Breathless”

“Latemar Dream”

Albumleaf 178: January 16, 2021 (Bologna) The coronavirus situation has confined us to Bologna for months now, and with each passing day I yearn more and more to travel–especially to non-urban areas like the mountains. I have never been to the Latemar range in the Dolomites. But someone posted about them the other day on […]

“Il tintinnio dei monatti”

Albumleaf 177: January 13, 2021 (Bologna) “The Ringing of the Dead-Gatherers” During the plague of 1630, the groups of men who went around collecting the sick and dead in Milan were called “monatti,” and they wore little bells on their ankles to signal their approach. In Manzoni’s The Betrothed, the monatti are often inebriated and […]