David DeBoor Canfield was born in 1950 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, into a musical household. His mother, June DeBoor Canfield,† was a former violinist in the Columbus Philharmonic under Izler Solomon, and his father, Dr. John Canfield, had founded the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra (now the Florida Philharmonic) just before the younger Canfield was born, and was a music educator throughout his career, which was centered in South Florida. It was natural, therefore that Canfield's earliest musical studies (beginning at age 6) in piano, violin, music theory and composition were all with his father, although by the time he had reached high school, these lessons had greatly diminished in frequency due to his father's busy schedule, and Canfield's increasing interest in the subject of chemistry. It was in chemistry, in fact, that he was accepted as a major at Stetson University in 1968, although he received a full scholarship from the school for playing in the University Orchestra, of which he was concertmaster for a year and a half.
†††† Midway through his junior year, Canfield decided to switch from chemistry to music and transferred to Covenant College, where his father was head of the music department at the time. He became the first composition major to graduate from that school. Taking two years off from his education after graduation, he played violin professionally in the Fort Lauderdale Symphony (as it was then called), the Miami Opera Association and the Miami Beach Symphony Orchestra. In 1974, Canfield decided to begin graduate school and was accepted into Indiana University. His composition teachers there included John Eaton, Bernhard Heiden and Frederick Fox. Canfield was awarded the MM in Composition in 1977 and the DM in Composition in 1983.
†††† While at Indiana University, his dissertation piece, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, won the Dean's Composition Competition and was premiered by David Brunell, piano, and Keith Brown, with the Indiana University Orchestra.
†††† Not interested in pursuing a career as a teacher of composition, Canfield then began Ars Antiqua, which in a short time became the world's largest mail-order business devoted to classical LP records. He also compiled, during the course of running this venture, the world-wide standard price guide for classical records, the latest edition of which contains almost 200,000 different records on all formats. He retired from this business in 2005.
†††† During the 27 years he ran his record business, however, he has continued to compose and receive numerous performances of his works, which include the premiere of his Piano Sonata in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Festival Europeen International in 1990, his Toccata and Fugue in Eb Minor in Holland in 1997, and his Overture: The Spirit of Challenger by two different orchestras, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra which commissioned and premiered it under his own direction in 1986 and the Columbia, Indiana, Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 under the direction of David Bowden.†††††††††††
††† Canfield is the composer-in-residence of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, which has performed more than a dozen of his pieces over the twelve years of the orchestra's existence. The largest scale of these, the American Patriot Overture, scored for large orchestra, chorus, auxiliary brass and cannons, the Pops performed three times† (in 1999, 2000 and 2001) to audiences totaling more than 15,000 people
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