Hello! I’m the Associate Principal Violist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. I absolutely love teaching and look forward to meeting you.

Hello! I’m David and I’m currently the Associate Principal Violist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and am also on facutly at the University of Auckland. I absolutely love teaching and look forward to meeting you. I’m here to help whether you’re looking to build a more solid technical foundation on the instrument, exploring new repertoire, or are just interested in some different ideas about music and the viola. In addition to solo work and my experience with the orchestra, I also have an extensive chamber music background, having been the founding violist of the Afiara String Quartet for 8 years. I’m therefore equally excited to work with you on your solo recital repertoire, learn some viola chamber music parts, or prepare for an upcoming orchestral audition. I aim to make lessons collaborative by asking questions, trying new ideas and encouraging my students think and work in different ways. Hope to see you soon and there’s never any pressure as I offer a 15 minute complimentary lesson if you’re interested. Please don't hesitate to send me a message if you don't see any times that work for you in my availability and we can find an alternative!

Experience & Education

  • The Juilliard School 1998 – 2004
    Bachelor of Music, Master of Music
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music 2004 – 2006
    Artist Certificate in Chamber Music
  • The Juilliard School 2009 – 2011
    Artist Diploma
    Graduate String Quartet Residency
  • Afiara String Quartet 2006 – 2013
    Founding Violist
    Awarded top prizes at Munich ARD International Music Competition 2008, Concert Artists Guild Competition 2008, and Banff International String Quartet Competition 2010. Toured and recorded internationally.
  • Ensemble MidtVest 2013 – 2015
    Toured and recorded extensively.
  • Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra 2015 – 2021
    Associate Principal Viola
  • University of Auckland, School of Music 2017 – 2021
    Convenor of Classical Performance
  • Alexander String Quartet 2021 – Present
  • San Francisco State University 2021 – Present
    Lecturer in Viola
See more


See more


Anna Tarnowska October

I studied viola with David Samuel for one year in the Stavanger University. He is a prominent violist and excellent teacher. He has also extraordinary approach to indentifying problems and gives amazing tips, both musically and technically, to eliminate them. He is very inspirational, patient and full of amazing ideas, so you will never leave a lesson without a big enthusiasm or with a sense of not knowing what you need to do. Moreover, he has a true passion and deep knowledge about music, which he would love to share with everyone. The atmosphere during lessons is very friendly and simply great. He is very open-minded and he knows very well, how to motivate students. It was a huge honour, amazing experience and very productive time to studying under David Samuel. He has taught and inspired me a lot and after his tutoring I passed the audition for European Union Youth Orchestra and reached many others achievements. I would highly recommend David Samuel.

Midori Witkoski September

I studied with David for two years in high school, during which he prepared me for my college conservatory auditions. He gave me all the support and encouragement that I needed, and would often demonstrate things with incredible technical facility and musical complexity which opened me up to a higher level of playing. I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him, and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to further their musical abilities.

Ready to get learning? Schedule online lesson

Lesson length


Free introduction lesson


Sign in