Leader

Dr. David Rudge

Dr. David Rudgeteaches Free Improvisation at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he leads the Improv. Collective, a performing ensemble dedicated to free improvisation for self-expression. As an improvising violinist, he has performed with Paul Winter, Paul Horn, Arthur Hull, Don Campbell and David Darling.   He has also performed as conductor with David Darling and Jon-Luc Ponty. Involved with Music for People since its inception, Dr. Rudge is a member of its Board of Directors and on the full-time teaching staff. David has taught Free Improvisation in such diverse settings as Oklahoma State University, the Connecticut and New York Public Schools, the Kiental Center in Switzerland, the Tenri Cultural Center in NY City, Strings without Boundaries, Brian Wicklund’s American Fiddle Camp, Charles Castleman’s Quartet Program, the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies, where he was part of the summer staff. Dr. Rudge is also the Director of Orchestras and Opera at SUNY – Fredonia. He has conducted symphony orchestras and operas in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America to critical acclaim. 

Dr. Rudge, and members of The Improv. Collective are available to work with faculty and students of all ages in a variety of playshops.





"Dr. David Rudge is one of the most talented musicians to graduate from the Music For People Musicianship and Leadership Program. He is remembered for his beautiful and highly skilled violin artistry. He exemplifies that rare talent of being able to be a gifted classical player and a wonderful improviser. His leadership skills are exhilarating in that his love of sharing the beauty of music with all humans is first and foremost in his teaching and leading skills. It is rare to find such a gifted human being who possesses so many ideal qualities of musicianship, scholarship, and curiosity for life. I would like to take this opportunity to give him my highest recommendation as a teacher, improviser, and inspired professional violinist and conductor."

-- David Darling,
Master Improvising Cellist
Co-Founder, Music for People


"David understands the importance of improvisation in creating deeper musical experiences. His convictions have engaged people in improvisation through the Improv. Collective and workshops for people of all ages and backgrounds."

-- Dr. Karl Boelter, Composer,
Director, School of Music,
SUNY Fredonia


"Dr. Rudge's Free Improvisation class was a unique and refreshing oasis in the midst of my college curriculum. Inspiring, spontaneous, and incredibly encouraging, Dr. Rudge gently guided us into the world of improvisation and led us in learning vital skills, techniques, and ways of thinking about creating music that were never addressed in other courses. He helped a tense, self-conscious, super-critical perfectionist like me find the joy in music-making again. I use what I learned from him almost daily in my own teaching and playing. The music education profession often discusses the immense importance of improvisation, but it is extremely rare to have the opportunity to actually learn this art from an amazing improviser, musician, teacher and person. I feel very fortunate and grateful to have had the chance to learn from him."

-- Essena Setaro
Alumnus, SUNY Fredonia





"We do not quit playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we quit playing."
– Oliver Wendall Holmes