David Finlayson joined the New York Philharmonic in December 1985 during Zubin Mehta's tenure as music director. He serves as the orchestra's second trombonist.
Born in Washington, D.C., into a military family, Mr. Finlayson spent his early years in many different parts of the world. His music studies began on the piano when he was six while his family was living in Heidelberg, Germany; the trombone did not take center stage in his life until he was 13. In 1972, Mr. Finlayson entered the University of Michigan School of Music for his undergraduate studies. His symphonic career began while he was a student in Michigan, with the Flint Symphony and Toledo Symphony Orchestras.
In 1980, Mr. Finlayson was appointed assistant principal trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra under music director Mstislav Rostropovich, and he performed in his hometown of Washington for six seasons before joining the New York Philharmonic.
As a featured soloist and recitalist, Mr. Finlayson has performed in brass recitals throughout the world, with appearances on "National Public Radio," "The Today Show," and the "National Arts Series". He has appeared in concert as soloist with the Vivo Orchestra of Finland, West Islip Chamber Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Chamber Series, Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, D.C., and Canadian Brass Quintet.
As a guest artist and clinician, Mr. Finlayson has conducted master classes in universities and conservatories in Spain, Brazil, Korea, Finland, Chile, and Puerto Rico. In the United States, his appearances have included the New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, DePaul University, University of Hawaii, Curtis Institute, and University of Michigan.
Mr. Finlayson's active teaching career in New York City has included positions on the trombone faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music. He served on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara, California, from 1995 until 2002.
His teachers were Glen P. Smith, Frank Crisafulli, John Marcellus, and Abe Torchinsky.